How Net Neutrality Will Hurt Consumers

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Sarah Rogers

One of the things that makes America great is the freedom to use the internet. Information can be accessed easily while it is unrestricted, and has a free availability of all kinds of information. When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality, which is the basic principle that prohibits major service providers such as AT&T, Verizon and the like from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites.

President Barack Obama supported the concept of net neutrality, saying that it was mandatory for the American economy and society. But when President Donald Trump came into the administration he appointed Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and longtime rival of net neutrality, to head the FCC agency.

“It’s crony capitalism in favor of web giants like Facebook and Google,” Steve Nolen said. “Major companies like these are in favor of net neutrality because it targets their competitors. I think that we need to eliminate net neutrality so major companies can’t do this.”

If Pai gets his way on net neutrality, most internet service providers would introduce paid prioritization, meaning broadband providers could offer faster internet speeds to companies that pay up and slow down the companies that refused to pay. This would cause chaos among many young startup companies that couldn’t afford access to strong streaming or download speeds.

“If we were to get rid of net neutrality, the small businesses of the world won’t be able to get into reach with their customers and would leave many customers without choices,” Evelyn Altschuler said. “The internet shouldn’t be turned into a printing press, where the information lies in the hands of major companies that care more about profits than customer service.”

While gutting net neutrality might benefit profits for major companies, such as telecom and cable companies, it would harm consumers who are internet-focused and internet focused companies. Companies would be able to block content they do not approve or applications that compete with their own offerings. As long as it still stands, net neutrality preserves our right to freedom online.