Students react to the Net Neutrality repeal


On Thursday, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) voted to repeal regulations regarding net neutrality that were put into place in 2010 and strengthened in 2015.

Immediate reactions from Utah State University students following the announcement of the recession were mixed.

“The repeal is bad objectively from anyone’s standpoint but cable companies…they can price-gouge people,” said Spencer Peterson, a Utah State student.

Other students didn’t think there would be a lot of change as a result of the repeal.

“They only replaced the portion that has been in effect for less than two years,” said Caleb Sessions, a Utah State student. “The portion that was removed was under Obama’s administration in 2015. Basically we have had the same internet we have gotten for 90 percent of our lives.”

The recession of the regulations will change interactions between businesses, internet service providers (ISPs) and consumers. One example is that ISPs will be allowed to favor the speeds at which consumers receive content from certain businesses such as Yahoo or Google, just as long as ISPs are telling the public that they are doing so.

Many consumers are speculating as to what will actually happen within the internet market, and theories about bundling, innovation, monopolies and throttling are prevalent.

Eric Hawley, the chief information officer for USU, said during this time it will be important for people to review how ISPs, businesses and consumers interacted before the placement of the net neutrality law. Moreover, students should study what cases and lobbies led to the creation and enforcement of net neutrality.

Kody Creger, a USU student, hopes the deregulation will allow for innovation and consumer satisfaction to become the top priority for ISPs instead of unethical practices.

Creger feels like the internet is monopolized by companies like Comcast, Verizon, Cox Communication and JB Wireless.

“It’s often that you have two service providers or less to choose from with the internet,” Creger said. “(Chairman Pai) says that the repeal will help drive innovation. Hopefully we have more service providers to choose from in the future.”

Jordan Lowe, a USU student, said he doesn’t think we will see any major changes in the next five years.

Lowe said the repeal might affect his future. He intends to be a park ranger and limited access to internet providers might price-gouge more isolated communities.

“I don’t think that the completion will be good for us as average Americans, I think that it’s going to hurt us,” he said. “I think (innovation) will come as a result of the completion, but those will come at such a cost that it will hurt us as consumers.”  

Some students are concerned the repeal will affect the lower-class Americans and their ability to access information.

“I am pretty disappointed,” said Liz Howell, a USU student. “Mostly, I am interested to see the effect it will have on pricing and what effect a possible increase in the price of internet will have on society.”

USU student Kameron Chapman said he believes there’s a lot of things Congress could do to reverse the FCC’s decision and prevent them from ever trying to repeal net neutrality again. He also said there is action that could be taken by the Supreme Court.

“I’m pissed, but there’s still hope,” he said. “The fight for neutrality isn’t over.”


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