By Roman Tmetuchl
Recently Net neutrality has become a big topic, especially around the internet with many people around the web stepping up to defend open internet rules because the U.S federal communications commission (FCC) and its chairman Ajit Pai have been campaigning to remove the regulations that stops Internet service providers (ISP’s) from having any sort of discrimination when it comes to how exactly broadband is used. The regulations originally passed in February of 2015 by former chairman Tom Wheeler ensured that ISP’s essentially could not block certain competitor sites, throttle internet speed, and hand out paid prioritization for internet users. However, if the regulations were to be removed nothing would prevent ISP’s from charging its customers for services and privileges that otherwise are currently available for free.
Ajit Pai’s stance on the issue is that he believes with less regulation would be more beneficial for the market growth and that the regulations only serves to create uncertainty, but others would suggest that all this would do is give free rein to companies to charge its users to see content already free to them, and restrain access to certain sites. As expected many telecommunication companies such as AT&T, and Verizon are in full support with the FCC’s plan to remove regulations promising that they do not wish to remove open internet rules, but in a recent video by Verizon that has been removed from their official channel, but can still be found through reuploads the Verizon general counsel is quoted saying “The FCC is not talking about killing the net neutrality rules, but In fact not we nor any other ISP are asking them to kill the open Internet rules. All they’re doing is looking to put the open Internet rules in an enforceable way on a different legal footing”. However, many software companies are in opposition to the plans of removing the regulations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and that they all agree the internet should be a free and competitive space while all the removal of the regulations will do is hurt the consumer in the end. Many people across the internet are currently rallying together in protest the FCC’s recent plans with news of the event making the front page of reddit, while making its way across YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. One student Sam Ball, age 24, Criminal justice statement regarding the subject said “I would be upset and I find it unfair because we should have the freedom to use it as we want without restriction cause if I pay for the internet I expect to get it without any of it being messed with” and David Olvera, age 22, phycology said “it is not for big companies to basically monetize after I paid for it” while on the other side of the topic some people just do not care, and it seems to not concern them at all as it does with Bonabe Marine, age 22, biological sciences who stated “I don’t care about the internet it’s a waste of time, it goes nowhere”. There are many polarizing opinions on the topic with most people in favor to keep the current regulations while many companies in favor of having it removed. The FCC has already called together a vote on the bill to decide the future of open internet rules that will be decided on the 14 of December, and the outcome of the vote will have large effects on the future of the internet.