South Carolina Should Oppose the Idea of Net Neutrality


Danielle Parker, Reporter

While visiting the web, you expect a lot of things. You expect to explore the internet without any interruptions. You expect to have full access to any website you want. You expect to be in charge of what you do. And you expect to do it all for free!

That’s net neutrality.

According to Free Press, “Net Neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks.”

Without net neutrality, low-paying customers would have less access to the web than high paying customers. Companies such as Verizon would control what you can and can’t do. Some companies might even lose customers because either they can’t afford the higher bills or they simply dislike the idea of no net neutrality.

How does this affect you? Great question.

A repealing of this rule, made by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) means less access to certain sites for you. Unless you’re able to pay for a more expensive deal, you’re stuck with the inconvenience. By the way, that means you pay more for the same experience that you have now. If you choose not to upgrade to a higher bill, say goodbye to your freedom of roaming the net.

Recently, the state of Montana’s governor, Steve Bullock, decided to take action. According to Greenfield Recorder, Bullock signed an executive order in January that his administration said “makes a preference for a free and open internet clear.”

This simply means that retailers that provide internet services cannot “block lawful content throttle, impair or degrade lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, engage in paid prioritization, or unreasonable interfere or disadvantage the users’ ability to select, access, and use broadband internet access server,” according to Bullock’s Branch.

Unlike states such as our very own South Carolina Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, plans to stay onboard with Bullock’s plans. Other states simply won’t go that far.

Back in December, the internet raged when the FCC publicized their case on getting rid of net neutrality. Hundreds of campaigns were set up for citizens who wanted to join the battle for net neutrality. Companies such as Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Spectrum braced up in the fight  for net neutrality and people have gathered together to crusade against the FCC.

These campaigns are still active and your letter to Congress could help America out in a huge way. You can even download an app called “ooniprobe,” available on the App Store and Google Play Store. This app helps catch net neutrality violations and other kinds of online censorship.