Comcast Takes Over The Internet?

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Comcast Takes Over The Internet?

Ever get frustrated with loading screens?

Ever get frustrated with loading screens?

Ever get frustrated with loading screens?

Ever get frustrated with loading screens?

Steven Shin, Reporter

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The internet has become a huge part of today’s society. Everything we may do requires the internet to function, whether it is browsing, shopping, chatting, gaming. Thanks to the freedom of the internet, we’re able to do all that and more. However, it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, laws to protect that freedom were not fully implemented until February of this year. Before that, many Internet Service Providers (ISP), liked to throttle internet speeds intentionally in order to generate more profit by selling a “faster” internet lane. On top of that, some ISPs even slowed down connection when accessing competitors’ websites. Net Neutrality keeps the money-hungry ISPs from compromising the freedom of the internet in order to generate profit for themselves. The fight for Net Neutrality wasn’t a short one by any means, but it was only after Barack Obama was elected president that the battle truly started. In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), implemented rules to protect Net Neutrality; however, the rule was overturned by a lawsuit filed by Verizon. After a long fight, Net Neutrality was finally able to be adopted in February of 2015. Still, ISPs and members of Congress are doing everything they can to compromise that rule. That’s where the citizens come into play.

One prominent issue across the nation is that not many people know about Net Neutrality or why it is needed. This lack of understanding is common especially among the younger members of society. So, why is Net Neutrality necessary? What does it have to do with the general public? Well, imagine this: You’re driving over to Burger King, but have to go through multiple toll booths, winding roads, and low speed limits because McDonalds payed the road company to keep people from going to Burger King. Sounds absurd, right? The problem is, that is exactly what many ISPs wish to do. Comcast may throttle one’s internet speed to Cox’s websites, or Burger King pays Verizon to make McDonald’s website load slowly and painfully. Alternatively, imagine a road that requires you to pay a fee to walk any faster than a slow trudge. This is how the internet would be without Net Neutrality.

Although the FCC has multiple laws in place protecting Net Neutrality, not every country has the same luxury. Earlier this year in October, European Parliament voted against all proposed Net Neutrality Amendments. This decision has been met by overwhelming disapproval from all over the world. “It’s generally a bad idea,” says Ewan Mallinson, a music and video producer from Scotland, “This would put a time limit to my creativity; because, I can’t upload and download (content) as fast.”

So, how does this affect the students of Hidden Valley High School as a whole? Technology has become an increasingly important part of education, with multiple videos and online resources used for the curriculum. If websites such as YouTube or Google cannot be accessed as quickly, it would become increasingly difficult for teachers to use such resources to their advantage. Along with that, many students require quick access to this information for projects, class assignments, and homework. In today’s society, quick access to such resources are a necessity.

The government has responded to the pleas of the hundreds of thousands of Net Neutrality supporters. While there are still many issues that have yet to be addressed, it can be assumed that, given time, Net Neutrality will be fully realized. After all, “The internet is the future of information and content exchange” Ewan Mallinson.

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