FCC Repeals Net Neutrality

The repeal is highly controversial, causing debate over free speech versus free internet 

Margie Dillman, Sports Editor  

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday morning to repeal the protections over net neutrality, with the Republican dominated commission voting along party lines. This repeal is highly controversial, with the majority of the public being unhappy with the result of the vote. Many feel that the repeal is unjust and not a representation of what the people want, with only 20% of American citizens believing repealing the neutrality protections is in the nation’s best interest. The 107 Republicans on the commission voted to repeal the internet safeguards, following the course of Trump appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai who sided with his former bosses at Verizon in the belief that net neutrality needed to be repealed. Many believe that this repeal is for the purpose of finding a way to profit off of the internet by charging to use certain websites and social media platforms. Pai sings a different song, and says that this repeal is the only way to get the government to “stop micromanaging the internet.”  Other supporters of the repeal believe it is the only way to have the internet be entirely free from government influence, tying in the Constitution’s first amendment provision for free speech. However, the influence the government has over what is published online is a minimal background issue compared to the harm that a complete lack of protection can cause. Startup companies will have a much harder time striking deals with providers, and will have to pay extra fees to have their content distributed at the pace of other companies that have been around longer and have a better foundation in their respective industries. This issue of repealing net neutrality is a widespread one that will affect every single internet user alike, no matter if they predominately use it for entertainment purposes, using websites like Netflix and Twitter, or educational purposes, using it to do research or study. People use the internet as a way of getting a higher education, as a way to get a career, and as a way to reach out to people across the world. Without the government regulated internet free of extra fees and charges that the American citizens are used to, the way the information is transferred and  communicated will be drastically altered, and not necessarily for the better.