Opinion: Keep Net Neutrality

Under the Obama administration, regulations were setup to protect consumers from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) restricting the flow of the internet for higher profits. This came after many years of lawsuits from service providers like Comcast and Verizon.

In 2003 Tim Wu, professor at Columbia Law School, wrote a paper titled Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, inventing the term that hundreds of thousands of people would rally behind over a decade later.

The internet is a powerful tool that we take for granted everyday. We can connect to family and friends across the globe in just a matter of minutes. We are more connected now than we ever have been, and that’s what net neutrality is trying to protect.

Net neutrality was established to stand in the way of ISPs from restricting the speed at which some websites load, and even restricting access to certain websites based on if you paid for access or not. This creates a corrupt and unjust system for delivery of news, or just plain leisure.

Just one example of this would be competitive companies such as Verizon and AT&T blocking the other’s websites unless you paid for access.

This would affect many aspects of our everyday life, from browsing the internet to even how we do business.

Many small businesses rely on the internet to reach out to potential customers and already established customers. These small businesses may have a hard time getting off the ground if they cannot afford to pay for premium speeds to access that online customer base.

According to a 2014 report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the U.S. video game industry added $6.2 Billion Dollars to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Without Net Neutrality, some video game companies wouldn’t even be able to develop new games, let along manage the games that have already gone through development and launched.

Playing massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) would become a nightmare, with people from all over the nation trying to play at the same time with different levels of internet connectivity from various ISPs. Add in to the mix players from all over the world- managing these games would become nearly impossible for the developers of games like the Call of Duty franchise, Destiny,Halo, etc.

It is vital that we take a stand for Net Neutrality and defend the free internet.

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