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A world without internet

FCC votes to repeal net neutrality

The internet has been ingrained into the daily lives of students for quite some time now, so it is no surprise that a world without the internet would be a world difficult to function in. Recently, a lot of talk has been centered around the fate of the internet and how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the net neutrality rules that govern how internet service providers treat content and data.

Students are unsure about future internet guidelines. | Photo courtesy of rawpixel.com

In a recent debate, the FCC rescinded these regulations on Dec. 14, 2017 based on the argument that “they might dampen infrastructure investment for service providers,” such as Comcast or DirecTV. Despite  the lack of evidence that this is a legitimate argument, the vote to repeal net neutrality, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, is a “testing proposition in what will be taken place in an open and public process.” After receiving backlash, Pai responded to these concerns in a largely criticized  video explaining what consumers can still do on the internet with the repeal of net neutrality. As Pai explains, “you can still ‘gram’ your food, post pictures of cute animals, and be a part of your fandoms online.”

There is more to the internet than just taking photos or keeping up with the latest social trends. For college students, they are affected even more significantly. With net neutrality revoked, broadband providers can limit what students can access on the internet, charge them more to get to the sites and services they regularly use, and start slowing down their internet speeds in order to coerce them into paying a fee for faster speeds. Today, most of college classes rely on students’ ability to use the web for studying, academic research, and general use. Without net neutrality rules in place, college students would be hindered from doing simple academic tasks such as using the internet to take tests, studying for exams, or submitting assignments online. “It’s already hard enough to go to college without a computer. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if I couldn’t use the internet, everything is digital now,” Elizabeth Fritz, an undergrad at CU Denver said.

Also, it is possible college students could start to see an increase in tuition. Higher institutions may decide to pay for faster internet for the benefit of their students, but this will most likely be worked into a student’s fees through certain fees. “Everyone uses the internet. It’s like water, it’s necessary to do just about anything now,” Violet DeSnyder, a freshman at CU Denver said.

For consumers of the internet, it’s important to stay up to date on news surrounding net neutrality and get involved with ways to prevent a world without the internet. 

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