At this moment millions of people all across the country are worried about the fate of Net Neutrality, because on December 14 the Federal Communications Commission will vote on whether or not the Net Neutrality acts will be repealed. While you may not understand what Net Neutrality is or why it is important, you have already been affected by it: When you go online you have unlimited to access to information from all over the world. You can read about politics in Ghana or watch a movie from France – you can do these things without having to pay your internet provider, and it’s all because of Net Neutrality. While certain websites may have a fee that the creator charges, the money you pay does not go to your internet provider like Comcast or Verizon because of Net Neutrality. Without Net Neutrality, policies on websites like Amazon or Netflix would have a fee you need to pay before accessing them. Prior to this set of rules being established, people would have to wait hours for certain sites to download or not be able to access certain sites at all because their service providers prohibited access to them. However, this all changed in 2015 thanks to activists all across the country who demanded a change. Sadly change is needed again to prevent this important policy from being repealed. After speaking to other students, it became clear that students were also against this repeal: One student pointed out “If there is no Net Neutrality how will we be able to access websites for research and education at school? And what about all the people who won’t be able to afford access to educational resources online?”. This statement brings up some important points about Net Neutrality in education, and shows how the repeal will directly affect both students and teachers. With all the extra fees that companies can charge, without Net Neutrality many schools (including ours) may not be able to pay for students to access certain websites or databases that are essential in a time where the internet has become an integral part of education. Knowing that the loss of Net Neutrality will affect students, some people I interviewed were angry about how the absence of Net Neutrality will affect students: One student asked “How can I research a topic without being able to access different websites?” and another exclaimed “It’s so stupid! Education is important and this would just make school harder than it already is!”. It is abundantly clear that the decision to repeal Net Neutrality would negatively affect students, and while as a student it may seem difficult to prevent this from happening, the first step is being informed, and making your voice and opinions heard.
My name is Sarah Avampato, I am a Bedford High School sophomore and editor for the science and technology section. In my free time I enjoy writing and working with technology and builds. I am an avid hiker and enjoy spending time outside with my dog. As science and technology editor my goal is to expose more students to how science and technology affects our every day lives and keep students aware of new changes in these fields.