Sunday, November 29, 2020

Election Day

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Net Neutrality Must Be Preserved

Net neutrality refers to the basic principle that prohibits Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net neutrality is the way that the Internet has always worked, so it may come as a surprise that in December of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), dismantled vital net neutrality regulations. It is Cunningham’s firm stance that net neutrality should be upheld, and the regulations that have been dismantled must be reinstated.

The Death of Innovation

In the not so distant past, you had to drive to a video store to rent a movie. Now, we can stream all kinds of movies directly by using services like Netflix. Without laws that protect net neutrality, services like these would have been throttled by Internet companies before they were allowed to reach the level of success that they currently enjoy. The Cunningham Administration believes in innovation and fostering new technologies to enable them to compete in the marketplace.

As we look ahead to a potential future without net neutrality, it’s easy to see how difficult it will be for new start-ups to flourish the same way Netflix has. As soon as a new company begins offering competing services, conglomerates will most likely relegate this new company to a proverbial Internet “slow-lane.” This means that nobody is going to use the services of the emerging company because they will be too slow, and the provider won’t be able to speed up their services unless they can put up the kind of money that huge corporations can.

Government Censorship

Even worse than a conglomerate stranglehold on the market is the total control the government will have on your Internet by regulating the speed of your content. For example, the potential for favoritism of which news you will be able to stream is unquestionable. The FCC argues that without net neutrality, the Internet will able to flourish as it should, but without an even playing field for all companies, the only ones flourishing will be large corporations. The recently upheld FCC regulations are not about equality, they are about control. 2 The Cunningham Administration will fight for equality of content and streaming, as it is the right of every citizen.

Crippling Our Students

One of the most amazing things about the Internet is the access we have to free, high-quality information. Students of all ages are able to research reliable and intelligent sources of information just by entering quick search into a search engine.

One of the most tragic consequences of repealing net neutrality will be a significant reduction in the amount of access our students have to this information. No longer able to quickly search for answers to schoolwork-related questions, the average college student will be at a huge educational disadvantage. Additionally, this will inevitably lead to higher dropout rates and lower levels of attendance for low-income students.3 Out of all the negative effects the repeal of net neutrality will have on our country, Cunningham is concerned the effect it will have on our education system could be the most crippling.

More Transparency, Less Restrictions

In addition to preventing broadband and wireless providers from slowing down your access to lawful content, net neutrality also forces Internet service providers to reveal information about their service speeds, so that consumers can see what their Internet speeds are and if they are actually getting their money’s worth. Broadband providers are also required to let you connect any non-harmful device to your Internet. They are also unable to force your use of a specific Wi-Fi router. By repealing net neutrality, all these safeguards will go right out the window, meaning you’ll find yourself paying a lot more for a lot less, and none the wiser.

Lobbyists: An Open Secret

The FCC didn’t decide to repeal net neutrality in the interest of the American people, they did it to please invested lobbyists. Each major broadband and wireless provider in America has donated millions of dollars to members of the government in hopes they might secure favor and influence.

And unfortunately, there are more influential parties in Washington that oppose net neutrality than support it. Google is the only company with major lobbying influence who favors net neutrality laws, and even their influence was not enough to prevent the disastrous December 2017 decision from being made.

In Summary

While the battle for total net neutrality protection was lost in 2017, the war is far from over. Despite the FCC’s decision, attorney generals from states across America have defiantly stated that they’ll begin enacting legislation aimed at upholding the values of net neutrality. The Cunningham Administration will support and uphold this legislation in order to secure once more the right of net neutrality to American Internet users.


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