By Walker Webb
Next week, the Federal Communications Commission, led by appointed chairman Ajit Pai, will vote on repealing net neutrality, an Obama-era policy of regulating Internet Service Providers to provide consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis.
The implications of repealing net neutrality go far beyond us as consumers. Now more than ever, it is important to speak up about the importance of protecting net neutrality.
Not only will repealing it affect consumers, but as our school system increasingly grows reliant on technology, it is important to think of how that affects public school budgets.
Leon County Schools pays for internet access to services such as ClassLink, Kahoot, Parent Portal, Blackboard, and many others. Imagine the constraint on the county budget to have to pay for different packages to access these services for the student body population of over 33,000 students.
Net neutrality has sadly become a politicized issue, and the idea of a free and open internet should never be a politicized issue. Setting a rule that every company gets equal internet access doesn’t mean the government is controlling the internet, but rather that large corporations don’t.
Take for example, our website, which doesn’t get nearly the amount of funding a major news source, such as the New York Times would. If net neutrality were repealed, the Times would be able to spend their money to load their content to the internet faster, while we would not be able to.
Protecting the enforcement of net neutrality provides an even playing ground for small businesses to flourish and protects the interests of consumers, not big business.