Expectation of privacy is a basic human right. And so is freedom of speech. So, suddenly, when Trump’s Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai, is destroying Net Neutrality, it’s no wonder the country is feeling a little less safe, and a lot less neutral.
You might be wondering: what is net neutrality?
Net neutrality was created by the Obama administration in February 2015 and voted on by the FCC to regulate internet service providers (ISPs). Under that law, ISPs cannot interfere with or block any content, charge fees for providing information, and are prevented from promoting one sole source. Basically, it prevents any ISP or governing body from controlling the internet.
Ajit Pai’s argument is this: allowing ISPs to control internet traffic will benefit consumers by increasing market competition. He claims that the current law is decreasing business investment and causing companies to withdraw from the market–this has been disproved recently, with reports stating that no ISPs have withdrawn from the market as a result from net neutrality.
You can imagine what life would look like without net neutrality:
How would we fight against oppression?
How would new competition beat out the old and push the economy forward?
Would advertising become useless or impossible?
In the world of marketing, net neutrality is vital to marketers and competing companies. Imagine this: if a new brand is trying to make it big through advertising and online promotional elements, without net neutrality a larger company could easily shut them down. For example: if Netflix is able to pay money to ISPs to increase its streaming speed, the speed of competing companies, especially the smaller ones, would be slowed down since bandwidth is a finite resource. Next, Netflix could pay a certain fee to prevent consumers accessing competitors’ content. This would essentially destroy Netflix’s competitors and the market as a whole.
Net neutrality = no more competition = destruction of marketing
*Cue roaring lions*
People are angry at this threat of removal–and we can see why. Without net neutrality, the internet is not the internet. It becomes a censored source of information and postings–definitely not that freedom of speech stuff that our constitution is all about. By destroying the regulations, the Big Guys’ voices get bigger and with the click of a button or swipe of a finger, the little voices disappear.
Currently, the FCC is working on removing the regulations and Republicans in both houses of Congress are creating a net neutrality bill to support the FCC. Democrats in Congress disagree. The country is divided: where do you stand?
To comment directly to the FCC, click here: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-108