By Juanita Hernandez
How long do you wait for Netflix to load its content? What if I told you that the loading time could double and even triple if we got rid of net neutrality?
Net neutrality, enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, prevents Internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from blocking online content or slowing down as site’s load time.
Net neutrality maintains equality among Internet traffic by enforcing fair treatment of all sources. If we do not fight to help net neutrality stay, we will be standing in virtual lines to access anything online. I find it preposterous to have to pay for something that is already free.
In response to a federal court order, the FCC is considering eliminating its net neutrality rules, giving ISPs the right to regulate websites’ speeds and charge them for faster service. Without net neutrality, ISP would have the ability to control online content, blocking content they don’t like or apps that compete with their own services.
Eventually, they will get out of control by charging numerous fees to use their “fast lanes.” Smaller companies and consumers who cannot afford to pay for faster lanes would be “thrown under the bus” with limited and slower data.
I am not alone in protesting the end of net neutrality. Major companies including Yahoo!, Amazon and eBay want to maintain the “open Internet.” Netflix and Mozilla joined a recent “Go Slow,” and reduced their download speeds for one day to show users the potential effects if the FCC proceeds with its plans. “If there were Internet slow lanes, you’d still be waiting,” said notices on their pages. Wikipedia took its site down.
The radio program “All Tech Considered” helped me understand net neutrality in a simple way. For instance, most of us are familiar with the frustrating feeling of waiting in line at a store, like Wal-Mart, that only has two checkout lanes open. In this case, Wal- Mart is our ISP.
We’re limited to products sold by Wal-Mart, and must wait to get them. Then you realize that a third checkout lane has opened but only for those who pay an additional fee for faster lanes and service. We, the consumers, and smaller companies have to simply wait in line.
Although, ISPs say they plan on building more towers and faster lanes, I do not believe them. I think we will all have limited access to online content. We have the great freedom of accessing anything we want whenever and wherever we want! Do you really want that to change? Help me and others keep net neutrality by letting the FCC know your opinion. Visit and comment at www.savetheinternet.com.