Her name is Kara. She is a child in America who suffers from depression, social anxiety, and various other mental disorders. She is also part of a poorer family who only has access to hand-me-down phones and school computers. Kara, because of the negative energy that she put off, had no friends at school and her family was never home. Because of this, she was a very lonely person. However, one day, she discovered a website that allowed her to be herself instead of changing who she really is around people. She made a lot of new friends on the website and she soon realized that she wasn’t going to be lonely anymore. Kara’s depression and anxiety became better very soon and people noticed the change. She was able to be herself. But now that Net Neutrality is repealed, she might not be able to access the website that changed her life. The FCC should bring back Net Neutrality because without it, the economic balance will fall farther apart, the neutrality rules out website discrimination, and the basic rights are threatened.
If there is no Net Neutrality, the economic balance will fall apart -- to put it simply, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The rich corporations such as AT&T and Verizon can charge money to access certain websites that they either don’t like or don’t trust. However, the poorer citizens that want to access those said websites aren’t able to pay it, unlike when someone would have Net Neutrality -- when they wouldn’t have to pay for certain websites. The lower class tries to keep accessing it until the higher class forces the poor to pay. The rich corporation receives money that it doesn’t really need and the poor who need the money lose valuable dollars. The Internet Service Providers, or the ISPs, charge different -- sometimes very high -- amounts for certain things: websites, videos, downloads, etc. If the lower classes want those privileges, they are forced to pay money to the people who don’t need it. In some cases, they can’t -- for paying means bankruptcy -- and they can’t access the information. The ISPs can also control and restrict the amount of websites, videos, and downloads that are being produced in their flow zone, which enables them the ability to inadvertently command smaller companies with what could be an iron fist. According to the University of Delaware, 81% of people disagree paying the ISPs for this reason, according to the article “What's at the Stake for Content Creators of the Net Neutrality Debate?” That is why the economic balance will fall farther apart if there is no Net Neutrality.
Now, “Imagine a new travel-booking website that always loads slower than Kayak or Orbitz. Impatient customers will quickly give up on it, and the new site will fail,” according to the Washington Post’s article on Net Neutrality, “How to Argue about Net Neutrality.” That is what website discrimination looks like. Website discrimination is when richer corporations support other richer corporations and leave smaller, startup websites in the dust, causing them to fail. This happened without Net Neutrality at least several times, when the larger companies paid lots of money for a faster downloading and loading speeds. However, the smaller companies can’t, since they need to use their money for other things. Our very own president Donald Trump also disproves of website discrimination. There was a recent case that Trump didn’t approve on where AT&T decided to buy Time Warner, another big corporation. Trump didn’t like the deal and created a whole case on the possible monopolization, stating that it was “Too much concentration in power [is] in the hands of the few.” Since Net Neutrality is repealed, other larger websites will have the power to do deals exactly like the one mentioned above -- the exact ones that Trump hates. This will cause the smaller companies to have even less of a chance than they had before to start off a company. Website discrimination should be decreased at all costs.
Freedom of speech: The ability to say what we want to say. That is a basic right in our country. However, without Net Neutrality, websites can be blocked that block the ability to say what we want to say, which, as mentioned, is a basic right in out country. “In a world where Netflix and Yahoo connect directly to residential ISPs, every Internet company will have its own separate pipe,” says Robert Larson of Dollars and Sense. Companies can block any website that they don’t agree with, such as a pro-Hillary website if they’re pro-Trump, and disallow any accessors from accessing it. This prevents a pro-Hillary citizen to have access to the the website that they want, preventing them from supporting Hillary. That is not freedom of speech. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is also threatened as well, since cables can control the flow of information by forcing consumers to pay money, and if the consumers can’t pay, they are neglected from the information. Therefore, the FOIA is threatened.
Some people claim that we don’t need Net Neutrality for several reasons. The problem didn’t exist in the first place -- first of all, blocking and slowing down websites rarely happens, even if the possibility has been around since the Internet first began. There have been only four incidents where this has happened, all before 2007. However, blocking and slowing down websites can happen, and since corporations were pushed back by Net Neutrality for years, they might seize the new power and use it before the possibility that Net Neutrality will come back again. “But without Net Neutrality,” they say. “There are driven down prices of things that are bought from the Internet, such as goods on ebay and Amazon. It provides faster download speed -- for example, Europe has Net Neutrality and Europeans have slower downloading speeds than Americans did with Net Neutrality. Even if Net Neutrality was enabled, different factors enable different downloading speeds and different prices.” The higher prices aren’t nearly as much as paying for certain websites to access -- only one or two more dollars more. As for downloading speed, if Europeans can handle slower downloading speeds, Americans can too. Europe has a greater population than America anyways. “Oh, but,” they claim. “The law doesn’t say what you can or cannot provide with the internet, and Net Neutrality takes away the Manifest Destiny -- or patriotic service -- of discovering what the internet can do. Besides, the problem didn’t exist in the first place.” Obama and the government added Net Neutrality to prevent a future problem in the first place. Why wait for a problem when you can prevent it from happening? The FOIA does apply to the internet. Even if it doesn’t say the Internet specifically, it still applies there. That is why Net Neutrality is needed.
That is why the FCC should bring back Obama’s Net Neutrality, so website discrimination is less likely to happen, so the economic balance won’t fall apart even more than it already has been, and to protect the freedoms of speech and freedoms to information.