Technologyplays a tremendous role in our society. Everyone depends on the internet for communication,social networking, education, marketing, and entertainment.
For years, net neutralityhas been the principle that protected people’s rights to use the internetfreely. By having open internet, the government is not able to discriminate againstany specify online services or websites. The term, net neutrality, is new butthe idea behind it has been in used for decades. Recently, net neutrality hasbeen making news due to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decisionto repeal the rules. Though “there was apublic outcry in support of net neutrality… the proposal was passed in December2017”. (pupblicknowledge.org) Howwould this affect the consumers? The FCC argues that changes would occur overtime.
but this doesn’t support the fact that over time, consumers would slowly losetheir rights to access information on their computers. The result of this decisionwould mean that internet providers are able to restrict people’s freedom to accesscontent or run applications. Companies such as Comcast or Verizon have the rightto charge users to access certain contents.
This change would come as unexpectedto many as a high percentage of the country lack the knowledge of this issue. Toprove my argument, I conducted a research where I interviewed individuals on therepeal of net neutrality. Thisresearch was aimed to investigate how knowledgeable a person is on the topic aswell as to investigate their dependence on the internet. I was interested infinding out if everyone is aware of the changes that is happening, if so, I wantedto know their opinion on the issue.
For the research, I collected fifteen applicantsto answer my set of questions. All the applicants range ages sixteen and up andvaries in gender and race. the study comprised of 10 students who are either inmiddle school, high school or college. The other 5 were adults with establishedcareers. The participants were randomly selected.
Before starting my interview,I informed each person the purpose of the research. Thefirst two questions focus on how much an individual use and depend on theinternet. the first question asks, “On average, how many hours a week do youuse the internet (including social media)?”. The second question asks, “do youdepend on the internet for assignments?”. the results showed that of the 10student participants, they used an average of 24.
7 hours of the internet per week.All 10 participants said that they heavily depend on the internet to complete theirschool assignments. The 5 non-student applicants average use is 14.
4 hours perweek. A majoring of the 5 participants claim that they used the internet intheir career to network. The findings make me question why they don’t know moreabout the issue that could possibly affect their daily needs since all the participantsdepend so much on the internet. So, I continued investigate this by asking eachindividual if they know what net neutrality is. 6/15 participants had no knowledgeof what net neutrality is, yet those 6-individual said that they highly depend onthe internet for their job and/ or education. Why is there such a large percentageof ignorance on current affairs? Is it because everyone is so disconnected fromthe world? is it because everyone is so blinded by the world of social media?Ofthose participants that are aware of the situation, I asked them “what is youropinion of the repeal of net neutrality? Their response continues to know how knowablethey are about the information.
An example of this is a 52-year-old participantwho is a CFO of sales and marketing of a medical company. When asked about his knowledge of net neutrality,he told me “I don’t know anything about it”. This is surprising since he toldme he uses his computer every day to contact clients and sell the company’s products.This repeal, once it takes action, will restrict the way he conducts business. Manystated that they were not happy about it but failed to explain as to why. Thosewho clearing has a deep understanding of the issue had more to say to day.
oneparticipant stated that “by repealing net neutrality truly shows how greedy ourgovernment officials are” he continues by explaining that “the government istrying to capitalize on the already established oligarchy that is the cable companies”.He is correct. Cable companies are monopolies. There is little to no competitionfor these cable companies and “without strong competition, providers can raise pricesdelay investment…” (fortune.
com). The repeal of net neutrality will be to theiradvantage. Before, cable companies can’t decide what online store you can shopat, or which streaming services you can use…” (Obama’s speech, 2017) but now thesecompanies are able to regulate what consumers are using.Fromthe results, I want to continue to investigate why more people are not informedabout this event? Why is the government able to repeal a principle that goes againstthe first amendment that protects our freedom?