The Net As We Know It Net Neutrality mightbe a term that you have been hearing a lot about lately. But what does itreally mean and how does it affect you? Well, simply put, Net Neutrality is theidea that all internet service providers, or ISPs, need to treat all web searchesand website visits the same. They can charge more money for a faster internetas a whole, but they can’t speed up or slow down individual websites. “Well that’s all well and good,” you might be thinking, “but how doesit affect me?” Picture a normal day of internet usage. You might wake up andcheck your selfie for how many likes you got last night, than go over toyoutube and look at your favorite bands new song. At school, you work on yourresearch project using Google and skype with a climate scientist in brazil forresearch.
Than when you get home, you check your facebook feed and go to bed You can do all ofthis because of your unrestricted connection to the internet. But if Net Neutrality went away, this would be a verydifferent story. On snapchat, you can only see photos and cant see likes orcomments. When you go onto youtube, your connection to the video is slowedbecause your ISP is promoting the rival band. Once you get to school, you cantlog in to Google but can use bing with no issues.
And skype is charging youevery minute you are connected and speaking. But the worst is when you gethome. Your ISP will let you post on facebook but won’t let you read otherpeoples posts. This is a very possible future if Net Neutrality is repealed. The repeal of NetNeutrality will forever change the way the internet is used. Instead of beingused as a free and open way to communicate, learn, and trade it will become asource of revenue for ISPs and ISPs only. As a student,developer, and internet user, my life revolves around the internet.
Aninescapable part of living in the 21st century is the internet. Our lives willchange if all this went away. Picture apresent day middle school student. The average new york middle schooler willcomplete more than 50 Google searches in just one day (accounting forirrelevant searches, redirected, ETC). Working online would be much harder ifwe had to pay for each website and video we saw. Many schools are using the Gsuite of apps to take notes, share information, and control internet access.However many ISPs own their own search engines through other sub-companies.ISPs are very sneaky about how they collect and use information gathered fromtheir search engines.
Verizon, a popular New York State ISP, owns Yahoo Inc.The Yahoo terms of service state that “…Yahoo collects and stores informationfrom user account registration and site usage. We generally refer to theinformation that we collect in connection with site usage as ‘user log data’.Yahoo will de-identify search user log data within 18 months of collection.Some Logs are retained for a longer period in order to power innovative productdevelopment, provide personalized and customized services, and better enableour security systems to detect and defend against fraudulent activity.
…Somedata collected is used customize interest-based advertising” Let’s break this down. Yahoo says that they cancollect any data related to your browsing history, website visits, and generalinternet traffic. They store your browsing data in a file with your accountinformation for 18 months before it is deleted. Once 18 months is up, yourwebsite views are deleted.
However, all other data is then sent to advertisersfor analysis. Yahoo can then display these targeted ads to you. The sneaky partcomes in when you dig a little deeper. Yahoo is allowed to publicly sell yourbrowsing history along with your name and computer information to anyonewilling to pay.
“Big deal,” you might be thinking “I just won’t useYahoo.” Well, it’s not that easy. When net neutrality goes away, ISPs canrestrict access to a website. As long as version tells its users that It isredirecting all Google traffic to Yahoo, it will be okay for this to happen.Practices like this will become the new normal for internet users. Now let’s talk about software. Even the smallest, mostbasic apps need an internet connection to send and receive data.
Without netneutrality, tech startups will need to pay to use stay listed and to useinternet bandwidth. This will boost big apps even higher but destroy many otherapps. The popular website Snapdrop.net was forced to shut down because theycould not keep their bandwidth. They would need to pay a few thousand dollarseach year to keep their FTP services running. Bigger companies like Google cancome in and take Snapdrop’s customers.
Because Snapdrop is a free service, itwould be impossible for them to pay to stay listed. So they are effectivelyremoved from the public eye. Now think about how you use the internet in your freetime. You most likely come home and watch some youtube videos, check youremail, read the news, and look up a place to go for dinner. Without netneutrality, ISPs will be able to offer packages to users. MEO, A Portugal ISP,has divided internet use into sub packages. Portugal has not had net neutralitysince 2013. Because of this, MEO candivide their services however they want.
To use a MEO plan, you must first buya internet line. A basic internet line is $15 per month. However, this line doesnot contain any services other than the MEO website. To access any otherservice, you must pay for that portion of the internet. Here is a price tablefrom the MEO website:Search Engines: $5National News: $5International News: $10Game Websites: $5Game Servers: $5Video Streaming: $10Social Media: $5Audio Streaming: $10Shopping Websites: $10 All of these prices are monthly.
So for low quality, unlocked content,you are going to pay $80 each month! For a high-quality internet with laglessstreaming, you may be paying upwards of $180 EACH MONTH! At that rate, youwould be paying $2160 for full internet each year before taxes! This is apossible future for the United States if net neutrality goes away. However, there is somegood news. Verizon, AT&T, T Mobile, Google Project Fi and Project Fiberhave pledged that they will not be throttling any users data for the next 5years. A Congressional review act, or CRA, has been passed. The CRA will allowfor Congress to bring back net neutrality if they get enough votes. But how canyou help? You can donate to campaignslike battleforthenet.
com who are raising awareness and running rallies againstthe FCC. You can also call or email your senator to request them to vote fornet neutrality in the CRA. Most importantly, you can just get your voice outthere and tell the FCC that you are displeased with the repeal of netneutrality. Let’s end this today! Sources Cited:FCC.govnytimes.com/topic/subject/net-neutralityBattleforthenet.comYahoo.com/termsVerizonGoogle.com/NET