Most people have no earthly idea what net neutrality is. Those who have read up on the subject know how absolutely vital this is to the world.
The idea of net neutrality is making sure that Internet service providers and the government treat all of the information on the Internet equally. It means charging different people to access different things or throttling information unless additional money is paid, equally.
I have followed this topic for some time now and earlier this week I saw a tweet from Republican and Texas Senator Ted Cruz that said “Net Neutrality is like ObamaCare for the Internet. The Internet should not run at the speed of the government.” Ironically, the first thing that I thought might not be fit for print, but the second thing I thought was, does Cruz actually know what net neutrality is?
The largest thing that bothers me about this fight against net neutrality is that it is similar to the same system we have in place now; we’re just putting a title to the ideology behind having the Internet equally accessible to anyone with a computer and Internet access.
Cruz tries to shake a finger at President Barack Obama by saying that the government is trying to privatize Internet, while at the same time Cruz is trying to help commercialize it under our very noses.
Senators that are paid big bucks to publicly denounce net neutrality is what reminds the world that politics are dirty.
Net neutrality brings up the never-ending correlation between our rights to freedom against the thickness of their pocketbooks. We have the right to information on the Internet and should not be nickeled and dimed to access it.
As an avid Internet user, I can see the perks of having equality in data on the Internet and I can also see the downsides of having data treated differently among different people. Many people rely on their access to the Internet, that if their freedom and equality of information on the Internet was compromised, they would not be able to function the same way they had in the past.
Do I necessarily think that the Internet needs to be qualified as a public utility? No. But it’s a thought in the right direction. The Internet is not something that anybody needs to be in control of and that is exactly where this whole argument begins.
Comcast and Time Warner want to have more control over the Internet. Other than just providing people the ability to access it, they want to be able to charge you for accessing it. They want to control what you see by making you pay more for the information that is at this time, mostly free. Ending net neutrality means that we, the consumer, lose and they, the corporations in charge, win again.
Other than the corporations who would profit handsomely from being able to charge you $0.99 per Google search, nobody truly wins. Even the individuals who will help try and end net neutrality will be upset when they have to pay an extra $2.99 per month to have access to Google Images.
These two examples have not been previously mentioned as something that will happen, but ending net neutrality will give big corporations like Comcast and Time Warner the ability to implement that kind of business strategy on our access to the Internet.
Even though I may sound like a broken record by now, educate yourself. Learn the ins and outs of just how important net neutrality is to us and to the world and become familiar with just how bad things could get if we ever lost sight of the equality of data on the Internet. It’s about money and greed.
So Ted Cruz, instead of attempting to rile up your uneducated Twitter followers with large words they have never heard, why don’t you ask yourself why you care all of a sudden? Do you really care about the people that you’ve sworn to represent? Or do you just care about the amount of zeros on a check that your position can bring? The basic roots of this country weren’t founded on monetization and control, they were founded on freedom. Remember that.
Column by Zac Garrison, Senior from Franklin, Ky.