There has been a lot of talk recently about the repeal of net neutrality. A lot of people have given out their personal opinions about it, but it seems that all the back and forth conversation, between the good and bad, has drawn some confusion. This article will lay it all on the line, and explain from a neutral position, about what Net Neutrality, is, what it does, and what happens if it is successfully repealed. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to understand these outlines and fully understand what is happening.

What is net neutrality?

According to Wikipedia, as of December 16, 2017, net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers, which will be referred to as ISPs, in this article, must treat all data on the Internet the same. This means that ISPs can not discriminate, or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. Essentially, this principle means that ISPs can not charge outrageous prices, or just completely block, any websites, or access to the internet to anybody. It is also a protection of first amendment rights to any person using the internet from ISPs covering free speech, freedom of expression, etc.


To explain a little bit further on what net neutrality actually does, imagine you bought tickets to a concert. You buy just a standard ticket, nothing fancy, with a good view of the stage. When you get to the concert and hand the security guard your ticket, he says, "Alright, before you go in, we have another five dollar charge for an actual chair to sit in, also, if you want to be able to talk to people around you, that's an extra ten dollars." The point is, if you were to buy just a standard internet package from an ISP, if you like scrolling through Facebook, or Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and social media site in general, your ISP can charge you for access to any of these sites, any posts you make, and any messages you send.

They can even censor any pictures that you post, or they can take your pictures and use them however they see fit. Net neutrality gives protection to you as a consumer by setting guidelines for ISPs in order to prevent this from happening. In other words, no net neutrality means ISPs have the full right to charge however much money they want for whatever they want such as, internet plans, making product plans, packaging all entertainment sites, such as YouTube, into an entertainment package plan that you have to pay extra for per month, or no access at all.

What does this mean for you?

If you enjoy the freedom of being able to visit any website or application that uses the internet connection at will, then the repeal of net neutrality should scare you. In theory, ISPs should also be able to distribute faster internet connections to rural areas for less cost, but what is the point of that if you have to pay three times more than you already do to simply access your favorite sites. If you look at my biography page, I've noted that I am an avid gamer. Online video games are not immune to this change. If you enjoy games such as "Call of Duty," "Fortnite," "Overwatch," or games like these, it affects you. The repeal of this principle means that ISPs can limit usage of consoles that use the internet, including but not limited to game consoles, phones, tablets, etc.

Almost reminiscent of data usage on a cellular phone plan.

What can you do?

In essence, net neutrality is a must have in order to keep ISPs at bay. The repeal is in action at this very moment. According to a report by Russell Brandom and Adi Robertson of The Verge, Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, successfully lead a vote to kill net neutrality. The bill is in the United States Congress, and as of the effective date, December 15, 2017, Congress has 30 days to veto this bill. If this bill is vetoed, then there is nothing to worry about and all will stay the same. However, if the bill passes, net neutrality will end and then we wait to see what ISPs will do with their new freedom. If you want to help fight this bill, you can simply contact one of your state representatives, or there is also a petition that you can sign online, which is easily reached by simply going to Google and typing in net neutrality petition.

A report by Martin Finucane of the Boston Globe on December 14, 2017, states, Massachusetts attorney general, Maura Healey, has stated that she will join New York's attorney general in a lawsuit against the FCC over this decision. Please keep in mind, that I am no authority figure on the matter. I do not claim any of the reports in this article are my own. I am just a concerned citizen. This article is just my opinion on the situation.