After class on Monday, I went on Twitter and saw that everyone was tweeting about the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I got myself deep into several accounts and landed on Meghan’s ex-co star’s account. I was reading his tweets regarding the engagement and while I was scrolling through his tweets I found a re-tweet about Net Neutrality.
Before class on Monday, I have never heard about Net Neutrality. After class, I did some research and felt like I was living under a rock. I immediately kept on reading and got concerned. I started to think about how our lives would be if Net Neutrality legislation were changed. So let me break it down to you and explain it so you can freak out with me as well!
First of all, what is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the belief that Internet service providers (ISPs) should enable an equal amount of access to all web services.
So now, let’s talk about the issues net neutrality is facing today.
The FCC (Federal Communications Commissions) wants to kill net neutrality!
Removing the rules of net neutrality means that broadband suppliers could be open to throttle ( a network provider deliberately slows down the delivery of an internet service) the internet speed for users trying to access websites that aren’t their commercial partners. Therefore, ISPs (internet service providers) could create ‘fast lanes’ and ‘slow lanes’ which means the user has to pay more if they would like to access extra bandwidth.
What happens to the Internet if the new net neutrality legislation passes?
For instance, one has a limited amount of money and cannot afford to pay more for the ‘fast lane’ internet. They would have slower access than someone who can afford it. In short, this is discrimination.
Another scenario would be if I wanted to read the news online. I would have to have an add-on for news just to access the content. Let’s say I got the add-on and I am using Comcast. The content that they provide might be pro a certain issue, and that results in biased information since I cannot read other news channels content. What does that say about our future, and how narrow-minded will we be?
Another example, let’s say I’m writing a paper, and need to access content from different platforms and several websites to gather data to write a well-researched paper. Say I can’t afford all the extra packages and add-ons? What am I supposed to do? How am I going to write this paper without being biased as well?
In conclusion, as you can see I am against the new laws of net neutrality that are trying to get passed. I believe it will affect people in a negative way and it will create another digital divide (the gap between people who can access the internet and the ones who can’t). According to Castells, this is supposed to be the ‘information age’ where he believes that the network society will connect people, and as result, we will have an open-minded global society. But how is this possible if the new net neutrality laws pass?