The Battle for Net Neutrality
With information steadily increasing, those who hold the reins behind when, where, and what information comes from are holding all the power.
What is Net Neutrality?
Many people don’t truly understand what Net Neutrality is. I myself was a guilty of not understanding what Net Neutrality is until I took this class. Further, lots of people generally don’t appreciate additional government regulations and rules. However, in this case, the Internet Service Providers are the true culprit. They are the ones trying to take control and force their thoughts and ideas into the world, or take certain ideas out for that matter. The government, specifically the FCC, is trying to keep the internet fair and honest as much as they possibly can.
Net Neutrality can be defined as:
“The concept of an open, equal internet for everyone, regardless of device, application or platform used and content consumed. Proponents of the idea believe all corporations, including internet service providers (ISPs), should treat internet data and users equally.”– Rahul Awati with TechTarget.
How will it affect Media Consumers?
Let’s look at how Net Neutrality will affect media consumers and how they access their information and technology. Specifically, let us examine the ways their information is received.
- Net Neutrality provides equal access
With Net Neutrality, consumers will be able to freely search the web and have access to all information. Net Neutrality provides equal opportunities to everyone, who has access to the internet, by giving them the freedom to search whatever they want without the fear that certain information will be concealed. Without Net Neutrality, online companies and Internet Service Providers would be able to restrict and restrain the information which they deem necessary.
Depending on the company, they could filter certain information which would inhibit the users ability to accurately form their own opinions. With limited information, only certain conclusions can be made. It’s like a puzzle. Without all the pieces, you can’t see the entire picture which ultimately taints your view without your knowledge.
- Net Neutrality allows for free speech
Free speech is a fundamental right in America and has been a topic of discussion ever since the Founding Fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Now if Net Neutrality isn’t used, companies and governments would be able to restrict what you post and say online. They could block entire websites or platforms that they believe go against their opinions. Net Neutrality provides free speech with what people post and share.
- Net Neutrality promotes an even playing field
By creating an even playing field, Net Neutrality can create equality among us all. In order to be media literate, we need to be able to equally have access to all information. Otherwise, our knowledge and view could easily become tainted and distorted. Without having all the pieces, we cannot create a full picture and understand the larger perspective of many issues our world faces.
Additionally, Net Neutrality allows for everyone, no matter their status or background, to equal pay and attain information. Internet Service Providers are not allowed to give premium access to those who could pay more for faster or better information. It also gives smaller companies an equal playing field that wouldn’t be possible without Net Neutrality. If an unfair internet existed, new companies with hardly any funding would struggle considerably.
In conclusion, we as a society need to advocate towards better Net Neutrality regulations. Not just in America, but also throughout the world, because the internet is a vast connective tool that joins us all together whether we like it or not. That way we will have the ability to have equal access, free speech, and an even playing field.