plays a tremendous role in our society. Everyone depends on the internet for communication,
social networking, education, marketing, and entertainment. For years, net neutrality
has been the principle that protected people’s rights to use the internet
freely. By having open internet, the government is not able to discriminate against
any specify online services or websites. The term, net neutrality, is new but
the idea behind it has been in used for decades. Recently, net neutrality has
been making news due to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision
to repeal the rules. Though “there was a
public outcry in support of net neutrality… the proposal was passed in December
would this affect the consumers? The FCC argues that changes would occur over
time. but this doesn’t support the fact that over time, consumers would slowly lose
their rights to access information on their computers. The result of this decision
would mean that internet providers are able to restrict people’s freedom to access
content or run applications. Companies such as Comcast or Verizon have the right
to charge users to access certain contents. This change would come as unexpected
to many as a high percentage of the country lack the knowledge of this issue. To
prove my argument, I conducted a research where I interviewed individuals on the
repeal of net neutrality.
research was aimed to investigate how knowledgeable a person is on the topic as
well as to investigate their dependence on the internet. I was interested in
finding out if everyone is aware of the changes that is happening, if so, I wanted
to know their opinion on the issue. For the research, I collected fifteen applicants
to answer my set of questions. All the applicants range ages sixteen and up and
varies in gender and race. the study comprised of 10 students who are either in
middle school, high school or college. The other 5 were adults with established
careers. The participants were randomly selected. Before starting my interview,
I informed each person the purpose of the research.
first two questions focus on how much an individual use and depend on the
internet. the first question asks, “On average, how many hours a week do you
use the internet (including social media)?”. The second question asks, “do you
depend on the internet for assignments?”. the results showed that of the 10
student participants, they used an average of 24.7 hours of the internet per week.
All 10 participants said that they heavily depend on the internet to complete their
school assignments. The 5 non-student applicants average use is 14.4 hours per
week. A majoring of the 5 participants claim that they used the internet in
their career to network. The findings make me question why they don’t know more
about the issue that could possibly affect their daily needs since all the participants
depend so much on the internet. So, I continued investigate this by asking each
individual if they know what net neutrality is. 6/15 participants had no knowledge
of what net neutrality is, yet those 6-individual said that they highly depend on
the internet for their job and/ or education. Why is there such a large percentage
of ignorance on current affairs? Is it because everyone is so disconnected from
the world? is it because everyone is so blinded by the world of social media?
those participants that are aware of the situation, I asked them “what is your
opinion of the repeal of net neutrality? Their response continues to know how knowable
they are about the information. An example of this is a 52-year-old participant
who is a CFO of sales and marketing of a medical company. When asked about his knowledge of net neutrality,
he told me “I don’t know anything about it”. This is surprising since he told
me he uses his computer every day to contact clients and sell the company’s products.
This repeal, once it takes action, will restrict the way he conducts business. Many
stated that they were not happy about it but failed to explain as to why. Those
who clearing has a deep understanding of the issue had more to say to day. one
participant stated that “by repealing net neutrality truly shows how greedy our
government officials are” he continues by explaining that “the government is
trying to capitalize on the already established oligarchy that is the cable companies”.
He is correct. Cable companies are monopolies. There is little to no competition
for these cable companies and “without strong competition, providers can raise prices
delay investment…” (fortune.com). The repeal of net neutrality will be to their
advantage. Before, cable companies can’t decide what online store you can shop
at, or which streaming services you can use…” (Obama’s speech, 2017) but now these
companies are able to regulate what consumers are using.
the results, I want to continue to investigate why more people are not informed
about this event? Why is the government able to repeal a principle that goes against
the first amendment that protects our freedom?