It’s your internet – don’t hand it over

As a college student, do you like the free flow of information on the Internet?

Do you like being able to look up information, watch streaming video, listen to music, read news and get in touch with your friends with the click of a button?

Well, have we got news for you.

A group of corporate executives is trying to make all of those things harder and more expensive. Meanwhile, of course, their pockets will grow fatter.

According to an article on, a court decision will be made soon that could overturn the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Rule. This decision could allow corporate entities to decide what parts of the Internet you have access to.

In 2012, Verizon filed suit against the FCC, claiming it had the right to “edit” the Internet.

Net neutrality is, in essence, a state in which your Internet service provider (ISP) does not interfere with your ability to connect to other parts of the Internet. “In essence, it argues that no bit of information should be prioritized over another,” reads the Network Neutrality site at Berkeley University’s Open Computing Facility.

In short, let’s say you have cable from Company X, which is owned by a large media conglomerate. You want to view content from Website Y, which is owned by a different large media conglomerate. With a neutral Internet, you should have no problem connecting to that site.

But with a non-neutral Internet, Company X can slow down access to that website or even block it altogether, unless you pay a separate monthly fee or unless the website pays the ISP for faster speeds, according to advocacy group Free Press Save the Internet website.

In other words, it would make the Internet more like cable television. You could only access the “channels” you pay for access to, turning the open frontier of the internet into a walled garden.

The most obvious targets are already in the cross hairs.

Four of the largest internet service providers – Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon and AT&T – are also television carriers. But subscriptions are down partially due to “cord-cutters,” according to Business Insider, because cable television prices are driving customers away.

Forbes puts the cost of cable television at $78 per month. Getting Netflix, Amazon Prime (with a student discount), Hulu Plus and Aero for a month costs a total of $27.23 – just a little over one-third of cable.

A bill is currently in Washington, written by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va), which would prohibit service providers from throttling your access to streaming video sites. The Consumer Choice in Online Video Act currently only has a ten percent chance of being enacted, according to

This is not enough, and the debate doesn’t stop at just what movies you watch.

If you like free access to information, stand up for it. Write your representation at both the state and federal levels. Let them know you won’t stand by them if they hand the Internet over to corporate interests.

Let your Internet provider know if they continue attempting to seize control of the Internet, you’ll take your business elsewhere.

And put the word out on social media. Make sure your friends and family know what’s at stake.

In the United States, media conglomerates already control most of what you see on television and hear on the radio. Do you really want to hand the Internet over to them, too?