Net neutrality on campus: What will happen?

Net-Neutrality

No one on earth could make something so critically important sound so importantly funny like John Oliver. That something is Net Neutrality, a concept that broadband Internet providers – like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable – should never favor “paid prioritization” for content providers who are willing to pay for a “fast lane” connection in order to distribute their content to consumers.

John Olive might do a better job in explaining what net neutrality is in the following video, and of course while you are watching, he’s definitely going to make you laugh.

February 4, 2015, was the day FCC and US government made it official – or probably legal – that the Internet must be free of any arrogant internet-providing companies’ control, and it should be treated as a utility. It was a huge victory for the public, press, and major figures. Their reactions were loud and clear on the Internet.

President Barack Obama's response letter to the FCC's decision to protect Net Neutrality.

President Barack Obama’s response letter to the FCC’s decision to protect Net Neutrality.

The protection of net neutrality has a significant positive impact on all the Internet-related sectors, especially education. For instance, non-profit and public content providers like libraries can make sure that they do not have to pay for a fast lane connection – which they can’t afford – to get educational, research, and archival collections out to leaners.

Barbara Stripling, ALA Immediate Past President and a school librarian, expressed it well in a Wired’s article: “We must ensure the same quality access to online educational content as to entertainment and other commercial offerings. But without net neutrality, we are in danger of prioritizing Mickey Mouse and Jennifer Lawrence over William Shakespeare and Teddy Roosevelt. This may maximize profits for large content providers, but it minimizes education for all.”

In classroom, some of online educational content and tools will unreliably load at different speeds shall net neutrality is not maintained. Free, Open source and collaborative services will be demoted by network providers in favored for for-profit services. Students and teachers are only limited to a number of online services and products filtered by network providers. This means they can no longer enjoy startups’ free and low-cost services and prodcuts to creatively express themselves and experiment with online technology in their work.

This decision to protect net neutrality will definitely leave those network companies in dismay. They will try to do whatever it takes to appeal this decision. As one of Internet users – mostly particularly learners and educators – reading this article, I hope you join me and express your concerns around net neutrality. To express your concerns, please twitter me “@ChetraChap” or Campus Compared “@CampusCompared” with a hashtag #NetNeutralityEDU

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