Repealing net neutrality will dissolve internet freedom

By Saketh Vasamsetti, Columnist

On Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to dismantle the net neutrality rules that protect all internet users.

Established in 2015, net neutrality preserves free speech over the internet, and the plan to dissolve it will give cable and phone companies the power to control what we see and do.

Internet service providers will be able to cash in on companies paying them to boost internet exposure or on charging internet users for the usage of specific websites, or even both.

Pai’s proposal is gaining leverage due to the lack of knowledge regarding what is happening. Many are simply unaware of net neutrality and its importance.

College students in particular should be paying attention to what’s going on, given how much the internet influences our everyday activities. Net neutrality gives us the control and right to express ourselves to an enormous community of people. This community plays a crucial role in the development of our opinions and ideals while allowing conversations to form about various topics. That freedom is something that will be difficult to live without.  

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But a repeal of Title II of the Communications Act that provides those internet protections would lead to a suppression of the largest and fastest-growing source of communication.

However, with less than a month left before the vote, there is still time to voice opinions.

Several petitions have been formed to force the repeal of net neutrality out of a vote by allowing people from all over the country to record statements or sign traditional petitions.

While net neutrality will affect people of all ages, it’s most importantly going to affect the future people in professions — engineers, teachers, lawyers and more. College students are the next chapter in our society and quite possibly the most impactful generation of people.   

The internet without net neutrality is barely the internet at all, and with a grim future ahead, college students hold the most important voice in this vote.

Not only does net neutrality help protect our communication, it also supports millions of people’s careers.

Small businesses and organizations thrive on the amount of internet exposure they gain, yet without net neutrality, they face an obstacle of having to give internet service providers partial control of their businesses.

Not only business owners, but aspiring musicians may also face the risk of losing their jobs. Artists like Chance the Rapper paved the way for independent musicians to succeed without relying on record labels, but if they aren’t allowed the freedom to share their music within their own control, they’ll have no choice but to turn to cash-grabbing companies.

Dec. 14 has a lot at stake for the United States and is growing into a larger problem with every passing day. Net neutrality provides countless benefits in today’s internet environment, and taking it away indirectly suppresses our ability to communicate with one another

It takes a collective voice to change opinions into actions, and there is no better to way to voice our opinions about losing the freedom of the internet than by using the internet itself.

You can join the Battle for Net Neutrality by clicking here to sign the petition and voice your own opinions.

Saketh is a sophomore in LAS.

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