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The Importance of Net Neutrality

                                                                                              Photo Source: Londonwebfactory.com

                                       

If you have been consuming any form of media in the last month, you’ve probably seen two words over and over, “Net Neutrality”.  You may be wondering– what is it and what does it have to do with me?

    

What is Net Neutrality?

To put it simply, Net Neutrality is the idea that the internet is a place where free speech is protected. Internet service providers shouldn’t favor or block websites, apps, or content. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because back around 2014-2015 there was another battle over net neutrality. This resulted in the “open” internet we know today, but now net neutrality is under attack once again.

 

What Will Happen Without Net Neutrality?

Well, several things could happen. Your ISP could charge you for “fast lanes” or you could settle for probably significantly slower internet. There has also been theorizing on ISPs bundling certain websites like cable television. From a consumer standpoint, this isn’t great, but there is something far worse. Without Net Neutrality, throttling or even blocking websites could become very common. Nearly everyone relies on the internet, either for work or school and with so many protests and organizations being coordinated on the internet, this could be a huge blow to our freedom of speech. Already,  Tumblr (owned by Verizon) is being censored.

 

What Can I Do?

The first place to check in is at battleforthenet.com this is going to be the main hub for calling not only the FCC, but your  representatives. Another website you can use is 5calls.org You can also employ resistbot, a bot that automatically contacts your representatives. On December 7th, there  will be nationwide protests and you can find a location to join here.

    

And Remember…

While it’s easy to throw your hands up and quit; you can make a difference. We can all make a difference. The vote is December 14th, let’s get to work.

Savannah Stewart is a creative writing major at Stephen F. Austin State University. When she's not writing you can find her playing Dungeons and Dragons or listening to a podcast. Twitter/Instagram: meadow_light
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