Net Neutrality victory preserves equally open Internet for all

Our View

Feb. 26 was a day that may have preserved the day to day lives of every American, and the topic at hand is something that many people are not aware of: net neutrality.

As things are now, everything on the Internet is treated equally. A movie that is being streamed through Netflix or Amazon Prime must reach the user at the same time as a movie being streamed through a less known source. The same goes for news that comes from CNN or news that comes from the BBC.

Information essentially comes to a user’s computer in three steps. The first step is information leaving the source, such as a movie leaving Netflix. The next step is the information being delivered to you through Internet service providers such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The third step is a user viewing the information, which is what happens when a user starts to watch a movie on Netflix.

Because of this system, a start-up website can compete with a bigger one. It is what allowed Facebook to surpass Myspace and Google to surpass AOL. Net neutrality has to do with the second step.

If net neutrality laws are changed, companies such as Netflix could pay Internet service providers more money than another company so that Netflix’s data would reach the user quicker than other companies. Because of this, rates for most things on the Internet would go up, and service providers could charge more money for differing speeds of connectivity.

Not surprisingly, most Internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are for net neutrality reform, mostly because the profits would be massive. But companies such as Google, Netflix, Twitter, Apple and Reddit among many others are openly against any changes, and have signed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The FCC voted on Feb. 26 to preserve net neutrality and the future of the Internet.

Companies such as Comcast and Verizon have billions of dollars at their disposal, yet they could not pass legislation which would benefit them. Net neutrality represents the will of the people, and the fact that it was upheld reveals that the people have a large role to play in how the government works.

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