As of now, you pay an Internet provider for access to the Internet–the whole Internet. No website is sped up or slowed down, and you don’t pay extra to see certain sites. This prevents the discrimination of websites and applications on the web. Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai is trying to remove this regulation and it is nothing short of a horrible idea.
Getting rid of net neutrality is going to turn your Internet access into what cable TV looks like. It will allow companies to charge you fees to access different parts of the Internet with different speeds. They will have the power to speed up or slow down different sites.
To make matters worse, they would have the power to block access to certain sites altogether. This will turn your Internet provider into a gatekeeper of the information you receive through the web. Worse still, this will allow huge companies to use their money to make their sites more available and faster while slowing down or blocking others. Do you want to see only what big corporations want you to see?
If this law passes, small startup companies will never have the opportunity others did in the past. Corporations are going to use this to their advantage, making it as difficult as possible for others to compete with them. This deregulation will lock in the advantage they currently have on the market and prevent others from using what made them successful when they started.
Sites like Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat all took advantage of the open access of the Internet. Now they want to block other startups from doing what they did to become popular. Imagine being the next Facebook, but not having enough money to pay companies to allow access to your website.
Plain and simple, this is an attack on the small startups and it’s going to put more money in the pockets of big corporations. They will try to paint you this beautiful lie of faster Netflix streaming with no load times. This may be true–you may not have to wait the extra ten seconds for your next episode to load–but you will be giving up so much more.
They may also claim they don’t want to remove net neutrality altogether, but let’s be honest–when have these corporations looked out for your interest when it didn’t benefit themselves? They are in the business of money, not of your rights or freedoms. Let them keep their false promises of a better Internet in favor of the amazing Internet we already have without the limitations imposed by corporate greed.
John Di Giovanna is a junior majoring in journalism.