Amber Neville - Staff Writer
Net Neutrality: the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.
Net Neutrality was created in the late 1980s. It was fine until January 20, 2011, when Verizon sued the FCC. Verizon sued them because Verizon said that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2010 Open Internet Order (OIO) was exceeding the FCC’s authority that was authorized by Congress. Verizon also said that OIO violated Verizon’s constitutional rights, and created uncertainty for the communications industry. Verizon won the trial and on February 19, 2014, the FCC made new rules for Net Neutrality.
In April 2014, Net Neutrality was at risk, when a document was leaked that said that the FCC would consider promoting rules that would allow Internet Service Programs (ISPs) to violate Net Neutrality rules. Net Neutrality was saved in February 2015.
It took 4 million comments to the FCC, over 2.5 million petition signatures for Net Neutrality, 10 million emails to Congress, 500,000 calls to FCC and Congress, 250,000 petition signatures to Obama for support, 100 on the ground protests and parties at Comcast, FCC and the White House, over 20 million social media posts, 10 days occupying FCC lawn, 2 local hearings, 1 driveway being blocked, and 1 airplane banner flying over Comcast headquarters for Net Neutrality to be saved on February 26, 2015
Now Net Neutrality is at risk again due to the FCC wanting to completely repeal Net Neutrality as a whole. A lot of people online is calling this “the end of the internet as we know it.”
On the other hand, some people want Net Neutrality gone. These people think that Net Neutrality gives the government more control over the internet, it will disrupt growth and investment, and that it would spur more investment in the ISP sector.
The internet does have some hope. When the FCC was voting on December 14, 2017, it was 3:2. Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn don’t want to get rid of Net Neutrality.
The Republican-held congress known as Grand Old Party (GOP) made a bill days after the FCC vote. This bill will will replace Net Neutrality if the FCC gets rid of it, but it won’t replace everything.
On top of this new bill, many states are saying that they’ll sue the FCC for wanting to get rid of Net Neutrality. The list of these states include the town Santa Clara in California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Delaware.