Net Neutrality Now at Risk Of Removal

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Griffin Sonneman-Creed, Columnist

As December closes in, one final monumental decision has risen out of the ashes of 2017. On Dec. 14, the five members of the United States’ FCC (Federal Communications Commision) will be voting on the issue of net neutrality – whether to keep it, or to repeal it once and for all.

Net Neutrality can be summed up with one statement: The internet is free. It allows every person with a device to access any websites, use any service, or read anything they wish, without having to pay money to access them. Across the world, from India to Canada, this has been agreed upon as a basic human right. However, that may be soon to change in the United States.

Net Neutrality is one of the only things keeping Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other companies from charging extra money for you to access your favorite websites and other media. Services like Netflix, Google, and Youtube will be locked behind paywalls, forcing you to cough up money to use them. In some cases, you may be forced to use other services depending on your ISP. According to CNET, in 2014, Comcast purposefully slowed users’ internet speeds while on Netflix to force the service to pay them more.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that something as abhorrent as the repeal of the entirety of Net Neutrality is being headed by Comcast itself. And even now, it’s using underhanded techniques to convince people it’s in the right. According to Ars Technica, a few days after the announcement of the vote, Comcast removed a clause stating that they would protect users from “paid prioritization” – forcing you to pay money for prioritized websites. This vote is going through for more than simple money, though. Many people have been deceived into thinking it’s good for the country. Some have even said that it offers a higher level of freedom. To who? The businesses behind the vote.

On Dec. 14, the five primary commissioners of the FCC will be having their historic vote. The committee, led by former Verizon spokesperson Ajit Pai, are currently looking to pass the vote. Commissioners Brendan Carr, Michael O’Rielly, and chairman Ajit Pai have all confirmed in the past that they are voting for the new proposal. Only Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn are standing against it.

In a personal blog post, Clyburn stated her own views on neutrality, stating that it was essential for smaller companies due to a “levelled playing field.” This is extremely important. Without Net Neutrality, even more local companies will be run over and smashed by larger corporate monopolies. She then offered a possible solution, by having the public convince Pai to withdraw his proposal prior to the December voting deadline.

So what can you do to stop the vote? There are three things. One, go to and sign their petition. The website allows you to send a petition protesting the new regulations. Then, call your congressmen to tell them how you feel about this. Let them know that it’s wrong. Finally, visit this White House petition calling for the resignation of Ajit Pai. Together, we can stop the vote from going through.