End of net neutrality is an attack on America

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The future of internet use and freedom of information in America is in jeopardy after the federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently voted to repeal net neutrality rules. Net neutrality protected an open and free internet, allowing people to access online content without restrictions on certain sources or websites. It prevented broadband providers from slowing down, blocking, or charging more for certain content and ensured that the internet was treated as a public utility that everyone was free to use.

Without net neutrality, broadband providers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have the power to charge consumers more to access certain online services and can manipulate and restrict people’s online freedoms. This is a big problem, not only because it economically hurts American citizens, but because it threatens the free flow of information which is necessary for a functioning democracy.

Broadband providers claim that net neutrality regulations are government overreach that hurt business, but without these regulations in place, companies can dictate which services consumers have access to. For instance, an internet provider like Verizon could charge customers higher fees or slow down access to a video streaming service like Netflix in order to promote its own service. Verizon customers could be charged, or even prevented from using, any online services from Amazon to Google. Online based startup companies and small businesses would also have difficulty competing because they could face excessive fees from broadband providers in order to reach consumers. The repeal of net neutrality regulations has no upside for the American people. It only serves to increase profits for a few corporations by giving them greater control, while making it difficult for small businesses and causing unnecessary fees and restrictions for consumers.

In addition to the economic drawbacks, an end to net neutrality puts the United States on a dangerous path by enabling the restriction of information. More people than ever get their news from online sources which they rely on to make decisions as citizens and voters. The end of net neutrality regulations opens up the possibility for a few companies to control the information that Americans can access. America is built on the principles of freedom of the press, speech, and information. If outside forces can control what information citizens have access to, the democratic system of the United States is in danger.

The FCC’s vote to end internet regulation helps the wealthy few become even wealthier at the expense of the majority. It demonstrates the current administration’s continual disregard for the well-being of the American people and willingness to destabilize and undermine the integrity of America’s governing system in order to help the rich get richer. Fortunately, it is not too late to undo the damage. Congress can overturn the FCC’s decision through the use of a “resolution of disapproval”. If you want to protect your country’s online rights, I urge you to contact senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and Representative Jack Bergman or whomever your congressional representatives are, and ask them to protect net neutrality.