Net neutrality has been a controversial topic for a while; however, it shouldn’t be. The concept of net neutrality enables everyone to have equal and fair access to the internet regardless of the device or the application used. It ensures that internet service providers do not slow down sites or block access to certain websites.
Ultimately, access to the internet should be a right, not a privilege. Especially when media and educational tools are located on the internet, people should have equal access to be educated about the world around them. It not only enables a person to be media literate, but it helps them be an informed and responsible citizen.
Just take a look at what happens when access to the internet is limited. Back in 2021, everyone struggled with the Covid-19 pandemic and had to adjust accordingly; schools were no different. Some schools couldn’t provide students with technology like computers, learning devices, and the internet during this time, so students and their parents had to provide those necessities for themselves.
For low-income families, some parents could not afford wired broadband services with fast connection to the internet. As a result, many students struggled to learn online since their internet was slow or would cut out at random times. The lack of technological resources doesn’t just affect school lessons but being able to communicate with people and being knowledgeable about the latest news and happenings in society.
The gap between those with fast internet and those without has shown a divide in online learning ability and overall participation in society. How is that fair to those with low incomes? Why should they be less educated because they don’t have as much money as other families?
If you were to ask internet providers, their response would likely be, “tough luck; if you want our services, you will have to pay.” By basing internet speeds and connections on a financial standpoint, it’s rewarding the rich and penalizing the poor.
Net neutrality would get rid of the unnecessary cost of upgrades and premium plans by ensuring that everyone has the same access to the internet. As a result, internet service providers would lose money, and what business wants that? To remain profitable, internet service providers have become fierce opponents of this legislation.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that the great digital divide needs to close. For anything to change, there needs to be government regulation. Although, will politicians stand up for what’s right or continue to stand with those that line their pockets? The question remains unknown.