Net neutrality makes Internet more equal

Review's View

Ah, net neutrality: the bane of up-and-coming web businesses and the sweet spot for bloated corporations that want to put a strangle hold on the information super-highway. There has been lots of debate over how this issue should be handled, but there is a giant problem: the majority of Americans have no idea what the issue.

When it boils down to the basics, the idea behind the debate on net neutrality is fairly simple. Internet purists want to keep the World Wide Web as it currently is, a free-flowing forum of expression where literally anyone with access to a computer can post their views and opinions. Essentially, it is like a virtual version of Speaker’s Corner, found in London’s Hyde Park.

At the other end of the spectrum are those calling for more regulation of the Internet, wishing to turn Web access into something of a tiered system similar to what is found in the cable television industry. The general idea here is that instead of all Web sites being treated on equal footing, consumers would be required to purchase different packages. The basic package could include such things as access to low-level sites such as Geocities, Yahoo and, but feasibly the service provider could charge extra for a consumer wanting access to Google.

Countries like China have nationwide firewalls blocking access to certain Web sites and filtering content, and the thought of something even remotely similar to this being instigated in the U.S. is sickening.

The Internet is one of the last great equalizers left in the world. Anyone can go anywhere and access anything, for the most part. With more people than ever using the Internet for more information, the lack of net neutrality will leave a lot of people left behind. What about college students? College students use the Internet for both recreation and for writing papers and gaining the information they will need for completing their degree.

What about YouTube? A site that is really popular, that was made popular by everyday people of all shapes, sizes, colors and economic backgrounds. Will they be able to access it, and will it turn into just a bunch of episodes of little rich girls’ “Super Sweet Sixteen” because those people are the only ones who can access it?

For the sanity of everyone, let’s hope not.