Opinion: Be open to an open net

Have you ever done research on the web and a page took forever to load? What could happen in the future if the internet becomes even slower, except for websites owned by large corporations? This discrimination of information is a very real fear that could spoil the equality and individual power of the net.

Net neutrality is what allows all information online to be treated with equal respect. This is important for the freedom of speech, as in equal technological treatment, because it allows everyone to have a word.

You may ask yourself, “Why should I care about treatment of information?” The answer is that you and all the small websites soon may not have power on the internet.

Do you read a blog or webcomic, research topics for school on small websites, or just need to use anything online that does not have a contract with your internet provider? If so, these services will be slower, be pay-per-view, or may not even be accessible without net neutrality.

Net neutrality is a difficult tool because it is not covered by the freedom of speech, but it is required for freedom of speech in the 21st century. The internet is considered a tool, and being a tool provided by a broadband provider, it can be manipulated by the provider without breaking the first amendment.

This legal issue must be looked at under a different light than issues in the past because the internet is becoming more and more important and no single party should be allowed to decide what is right, wrong, or important to everybody. Through this tool, the user should be given that right.

The openness of the internet is incredibly important for future innovation, especially in technology. The lack of net neutrality will allow a service provider to manipulate data and even block or slow down services it does not like.

To an open source advocate like me, this would be a nightmare because a software company that does not like free services could pay the internet provider to only allow their service as an option. This would be horrible for healthy competition and cause technology to grow at a much slower pace.

Supporters of erasing net neutrality laws beliefs are disturb me because it means certain people will get altered version of the internet depending on business. The statement “a variety of broadband service plans at a variety of price points to suit every type of consumer,” which many supporters of the deletion of net neutrality believe, is the most disturbing.

A variety of price points means that for certain content people will be forced to pay more to the service provider and not content makers. These plans will lower exposure to new topics online for an individual, stopping them from learning about new subjects.

Also, every type of consumer sounds like there will be inexpensive plans to suit the general masses. People who want more diverse content, like programming tutorial sites or science sites for me, will be forced to pay more to the service provider for content where producers want their content given to everyone for free.

The internet is no longer just a privilege given in exchange for paying a corporation, like in the old days of AOL. The internet is becoming free with web browsers costing nothing and sites hosting software and source code for nothing except donation or non-intrusive ads.

The internet is becoming more a fact of life. Giving any service provider control is destined to result in corruption no matter how anyone looks at the situation. People need to use the internet to survive in business and communicate with people and services. Access to the internet should not be limited by how much cash is in your wallet.