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Jun 07 2017
by Ben Norrito

What Net Neutrality Means for College Students

By Ben Norrito - Jun 07 2017
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The internet is a major part of our daily lives, as college students and as American citizens. In our globalized world, it has become an essential resource for us. Yet, because of the Trump administration, an argument that lessened under the Obama administration in 2015 has been renewed: The debate over net neutrality. Net neutrality is the idea of a free and open internet, and without it, internet service providers (ISPs) could limit one’s access to information. This means that users could have to pay more money for access to different sites or faster speeds, essentially changing the way we use the internet. 

The new Federal Communications Commission chairman for the Trump Administration, Ajit Pai, is a strong opponent of the current net neutrality rules. He wants to change them, but this would be difficult because of the probable backlash from the community. The FCC relies on public support for their issues, like any other government agency, and restrictions on the Internet is unlike to garner much support.

However, if these laws do change, it could damage everyone, including college students. College students rely on the internet for everything from education to entertainment. Internet services are already expensive as is, so students could not afford a raise in prices. College is expensive enough as is, and paying for the internet could increase the disadvantage that low-income students have when trying to earn their education. 

Many people today rely on the internet for both their work and private life. So, we must protect it. Net neutrality rules should be kept in place in order to promote regulation and reduce exploitation for the good of all of its users. 

Lead Image Credit: Luca Bravo via Unsplash

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Ben Norrito - SUNY New Paltz

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