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Internet Neutrality

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Who owns the internet? The common opinion is that the web is a free and equal source for all its’ users, belonging to no one and everyone at the same time, however the increasing monopolization of content producers and methods of access has become a major cause for concern. As a unified, single entity, the Internet does not belong to any single person or organization, but the quality and levels of access available are dependent on thousands of corporate groups and impact every internet user. While once seen as an equalizing field, discussions of web fast lanes, private platforms, and pay-for-play access have turned the once obviously neutral Internet into a highly contested structure. Net neutrality is a step forward towards ensuring a future…show more content…
“The preferential leveraging of certain websites by telos and ISPs inherently implies reduced access to others,” Panda explains, “…this could lead to blocking others, either fully or, with choked access…” ISPs are the gateway through which all access must pass. Millions of web pages, platforms, app, services, with any and all types of information and resources available. There are small, niche sites (Reddit forums on Twilight Zone special features) to large, global content (the DOW summary) available at all hours of the day, and while the educational value of each of these would undoubtedly vary from person to person, access to both of these does not. Comparatively, in a world without net neutrality equalized education is constantly at risk depending on their whims of the ISP. Attempting to access event coverage on FOX news could be slowed or blocked completely if Comcast is your internet service provider. This not only leads to biased or even misinformation, but further monetizes the very nature of education. Paid prioritization, where those with the most financial resources can speed up access to their content, would hurt public and non-profit content providers, such as libraries, that cannot afford a fast lane for research and archival collections (Long). Additionally, because content providers that pay more for fast lanes could pass extra charges on to consumers for access to organizations that have not paid for such lanes, leading libraries and schools to end up paying more for commercial content while still losing their consumer base. ISPs are businesses at their core and thus have financial incentives to favor their own content over others, but once customers pay for their internet access, they should have the rights to choose the content they access. When someone purchases a car, they determine the route and
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