5 Things You Need to Know About The End of Net Neutrality


By Ethan Winchester

Coming Dec. 14, a major proposal from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) chairman, Ajit Pai, will shape the foundations of the internet. This proposal is to abolish net neutrality, a basic principle which ensures that all data on the internet is equal. This means that service providers cannot throttle your prices for doing certain things online. This was the rule for years during the Obama administration, but now, with this proposal on the horizon, we could see the internet being more expensive and more inaccessible to Americans. Here are five things you should know about the possible repeal of net neutrality and how it will effect your daily life.



  1. Your Privacy may be in danger. Internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T, Charter, Time Warner and many others can freely look at what you see and do online. How can they do this? Since the internet is in the hands of these private corporations, they hold this freedom. This freedom has always been exercised, but in a much less invasive way. Currently, websites will share your search information with companies for directing advertisements, but this invasion of privacy will only get worse if net neutrality is repealed.



  1. Being able to play games online will be a pain. Internet companies such as Comcast will skyrocket your rates if you play games online often. If the game your trying to play online is not favored by your provider, they can slow down your internet to the point of which it is unplayable. Online gaming as we know it may be over and being a gamer will be more expensive than ever.



  1.  Buying songs will become a nightmare. It may become way more costly. Certain platforms might not be supported by your internet provider. For example, Soundcloud artists use many copyrighted samples in their mixes and songs. Depending on how your provider views this, platforms like Soundcloud could be a thing of the past. This is also horrible news for many artists. It will be much harder to sell music online, which could kill the industry seeing how most musicians sell their work online.



  1. Using streaming services may also become a luxury many people cannot afford. On top of paying for streaming services (i.e. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) monthly, your ISP (internet service provider) can charge you for just using these services. This will make it hard for everyday people to watch movies anytime and anywhere.


Freedom of speech

  1. One of the sole purposes of the internet is to create open discussion and spread ideas. The ability for people to speak their mind is in danger. Since the internet will be ultimately controlled by corporations, your rights do not apply. The ISP, privately owning the web, can take down any form of posts they please and control what you can and cannot say. For instance if you’re criticizing the ISP, or talking about controversial topics, you can legally and rightfully be censored. It’s their network now.