Like Free Access to Internet? Speak Up, Take Action!

Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The FCC voted Thursday to scrap the rules for net neutrality. What does this mean? Well, I think it’s pretty bad.

Right now, there are rules in place that force internet providers to share information with you as fast as possible. Eliminating net neutrality opens the door for providers to charge you for faster, high quality service. They can also charge you for social media, meaning you might have to purchase different “packages,” like you might with your cable provider. Social medias like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat might be in one package. Another package might be streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Video.

That is how it works in Portugal, a country without net neutrality. Internet is divided into packages: Messaging, Social, Video, Music, Email and Cloud and more. Each package carries its own price tag.

But there’s more danger than that. By scrapping net neutrality, it means that your access to information is suddenly restricted. Internet providers can charge you for the access to information that is now free and was ensured to be free by net neutrality. Providers now can control what you can and can’t see on the internet.

It won’t happen right away, but once the political heat cools down and customers outrage diminishes, internet providers will likely start enacting these policies.

The internet, which has always provided free access to information for all, is an important thing. Information should not just be available to those who can afford to pay for it. This begins to infringe on our first amendment rights.

So what can we do?

First, read up. Check out the news sources you trust for new information and new developments.

Then, if you don’t support this decision and want to take action, contact our Wisconsin senators, Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson. It’s as easy as sending them a message from their website. Urge them to use the Congressional Review Act. This means that Congress can reverse this regulatory action within the next 60 days.

I urge you to push for the protection of net neutrality. Its elimination will radically change the internet as we know it, and what information we have access to.