Net neutrality explained, what it means for UWF

http://buy-generic-clomid.com/clomid_adult_dosage.html By Hannah Gainer
Staff writer

With the recent repeal of net neutrality, there could be positive and negative outcomes that would affect University of West Florida students greatly.

On Dec. 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to implement Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to end net neutrality.

There are a lot of people who are still confused on what exactly net neutrality is and what it does. Network neutrality means applying well-established “common carrier” rules to the internet in order to protect its freedom and openness.

Common carriage prohibits the owner of a network that holds itself out to all-comers from discriminating against halting, slowing, or otherwise tampering with the transfer of any data.

If the FCC has its way, powerful profit-seeking telecommunication giants will be able to disapprove the content from smaller websites, and favor content providers who have the money to pay for better access.

In case there is any confusion on what the problem is, most people obtain high-speed internet access from only a few telecom giants, such as AT&T, Comcast, Cox, CenturyLink, Charter, and Verizon. When sending or receiving data through the internet, it is expected that these companies transfer the data from one end of the network to the other, we don’t expect them to analyze or manipulate it.

With the new technology, telecommunication companies are able to examine every piece of information we send or receive online, such as websites, email, videos, internet phone calls, data generated by games, and social networks. They will be able to interfere with the data flow by slowing down or blocking traffic, with communicators that aren’t compensating them, and speeding up traffic with companies that are paying them extra for the benefits and advantages.

In 2015, the FCC put protections in place to prevent broadband providers from doing just that, but now, the Trump FCC is moving to do away with those protections.

Since the FCC has voted to implement the plan to end net neutrality, the fight now shifts to the U.S. Congress, where pro-network neutrality members will press to use something called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to undo this hurried and imprudent action.

The CRA is a relatively new tool that allows Congress to reverse regulatory actions within 60 legislative days of their enactment.

Even with the decision still in the air with Congress, the state of Montana has become the first state to implement net neutrality after the FCC.

The internet has become such an important part of our lives, it is impossible to get through life without using the internet, especially for college students.

What does the end of net neutrality mean for us? Access to the internet is extremely important for college students’ ability to excel as the web is used for studying, academic research and general use.

“The section of UWF students that must deal with a lot of data transfer through the Internet on a regular basis would be the ones to be affected the most, but there might not be too many such students,” Computer Science professor Amitabh Mishra said. “I don’t see UWF students’ academic use of internet impacted considerably due to recent changes in the net neutrality policy.”

Uninhibited internet access is also of high importance to college students who primarily take online classes or do much of their coursework from home, using their own internet access.

“I would expect the Internet to be a bit slower due to these changes, but not slow to a trickle or a complete lack of access,” Mishra said.

If net neutrality is repealed and ISPs begin to slow internet speeds unless a fee is paid, institutions may decide to pay for faster internet for the benefit of their students, and that would mean an increase in tuition.

Colleges may determine to pay more to make sure online content will continue being accessible at a reasonable speed for students, who use such resources for studying or class assignments.

With the possible changes that could come with tuition at any university, understanding that being able to have a faster internet is a definite necessity that colleges will need.

Could this impact our university’s tuition greatly?

“UWF is a very large institutional user of internet resources and as such we have a certain amount of negotiating power, any changes would be small and incremental rather than large and dislocating,” Computer Science professor John Coffey said.