Cable Companies vs. Education (by Carissa Grady)

John%20Oliver%20Net%20NeutralityThe Research Question and Introduction

My research question came to me while I had been browsing one of my favorite websites Tickld. A lot of attention the past couple of days had been surrounded net neutrality. Basically what is going on is the Federal Communications Commission is thinking of passing a legislation that would allow cable companies to have the power to regulate the internet. How they would do so, and these are just some of the reasons, is that they can now charge different companies like Google or Netflix a pretty high amount of money to keep the streaming speeds that they have and because of that, smaller companies can’t compete. Another reason is that cable providers would be able to limit the amount of information that is coming across to users. If they don’t like certain apps or different topics they can decide to eliminate that particular thing so that way viewers won’t be able to see it.

I feel that the question that I had was whether we should implement this kind of regulation and what would happen to those who were using the internet to help them with the school work that they needed to do. How students would be able to get to the information that they needed if they are constantly throttling the websites that cannot afford to pay their way in to the “fast lane” of the internet. What happens if there is a topic that a student is trying to research and they cannot find it because the cable companies are trying to limit it from being viewed? Education shouldn’t be challenging for people and without the resources that people need it makes it difficult to get the work done that they need to. I want to keep net neutrality and that is was I want to talk about.

Culminating Project: The Thematic Research Collection

1)    “Net Neutrality.” Save The Internet. Free Press, n.d. Web. 01 June 2014.

This article that I found on savetheinternet.com gives a basic definition about what net neutrality is. Basically, we want to keep net neutrality because if we don’t keep it, it would allow bigger cable companies to charge companies more and if they don’t pay they could limit that company’s web traffic. Also it allows them to censor speech, allowing faster speeds to those who pay more and slow speeds for those who cannot pay. This source is a reliable source because it was created by the same company that created the Free Press website and their CEO has done commentary for the Huffington Post and the Guardian.

2)    Feinberg, Ashley. “How Verizon Tricks You Into Paying for the Privilege to Pay More.” Gizmodo. Gawker Media, 30 May 2014. Web. 04 June 2014.

I discovered this article on Gizmodo and thought that it was very insightful. It gives a good description about what these different companies are doing in order to get out of paying fees and essentially making the consumer (us) pay for everything. They are doing this by describing themselves as one thing to the federal government and the opposite to state. This article also gives more information about what net neutrality is and how we need to keep it in effect. This source is reliable because they are a leading voice for technology news on the internet.

3)    “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality.” YouTube. YouTube, 1 June 2014. Web. 04 June 2014.

I know that this source isn’t the best one to use when trying to write a formal writing piece, but I thought that it helped me a lot to understand what net neutrality was and how the FCC is wanting to regulate the internet and give that control over to the bigger cable companies. Aside from being hilarious, John Oliver pulls out some really great points that I thought would be very useful. For example, him saying that the cable companies want people to think that they don’t want to create monopolies and that they are trying to “minimize competition” in different areas by only having one cable provider in an area for people to choose. I think that this is a reliable source because he uses clips and different interviews when he is giving out the information to back up his thoughts.

4)    Ganley, Paul, and Ben Allgrove. “Net Neutrality: A User’s Guide.” Net Neutrality: A User’s Guide. Science Direct, 2006. Web. 04 June 2014.

This is an article that I found that goes more in depth on the scholarly side to net neutrality. The two authors talk about how cable companies are going to be making the web companies compete to who can be in the “fast lane” of the web and who is going to be in the “slow lane”. Unfortunately whoever pays the higher price or bids the most will get to be the website in the fast lane and get information across to users faster than those who cannot afford it.

5)    Mardsen, Christopher T. “Net Neutrality as a Debate about More than Economics : Net Neutrality: Towards a Co-regulatory Solution.” Net Neutrality as a Debate about More than Economics : Net Neutrality: Towards a Co-regulatory Solution. Bloomsbury Academic, 2010. Web. 04 June 2014.

This was an interesting article because it gave more in-depth information about net neutrality and went through the history of it within the United States as well as the history of it within different countries. It also talks about how the net neutrality is only partially about economics. Many people believe that net neutrality change will help bring a change in the economy but within this article it says that is false. The article also talks about what the future would look like if we didn’t have net neutrality like we do today. Things on the internet would look a lot different, for example, the cable company could block or censor something that they don’t like which could affect us because they would be censoring our speech.

The Public Writing: Writing in Action 

Susan Bonamici

12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220

Beaverton, Oregon 97005

 

Dear Susan Bonamici:

I am writing to you today as a concerned citizen with a vested interest in net neutrality and its effects on education. Over the last couple of weeks I have heard on the news that the FCC could possibly be making it legal for different cable providers to take control of the way the internet is used. It began to make me wonder what would happen to those within an educational setting if this was put into effect. From the way I see it, it would severely hinder ones educational progress due to the fact that these cable companies are only looking out for their own financial gain and are less interested in others.

If the FCC decides to put this legislation into effect it would affect education by making it harder for students to find what they are looking for when trying to do research online. Without net neutrality, cable companies would have the power to censor whatever it is that they do not like or if it does not make them money. For a student who is trying to do research on a certain topic and Comcast deemed that certain topic not worthy enough and censored it, the student is out of luck. Not to mention the lack of freedom of speech since they are deciding to censor subjects that they do not agree with.

Another reason of how it would affect students is that cable providers would be able to slow down connection speeds to different sites if they were not able to pay for the higher speed connections. For example, Verizon could charge sites a higher rate for any kind of bandwidth and if a company is not able to afford the price, Verizon could then throttle the site which would in turn make it hard for people to visit the site. This would make it extremely difficult for students if some of the good sites for research did not have enough funds to pay these cable companies and they were impossible to access because of it.

All in all, net neutrality is the foundation to an equal opportunity for access to education. Net neutrality eliminates limits on education as seen through unlimited access to different resources on the internet. By having this, students can look up anything they need with any online resource without the fear that the website will be shut down or too slow to load. It also makes it easier for students to research different topics without the fear of not finding information because it has been blocked. This is why I am in favor for keeping net neutrality. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Carissa Grady

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Kayla Perry

    Hey Carissa!

    You bring about a lot of good points throughout your culminating project…however I have a couple of questions that I am still wondering about. It is sort of implied what your research question is, however I couldn’t find exactly where it is stated,..so I’m a but unsure of exactly WHAT it is. The other question I have is, for your letter you chose to write for the writing in action, who is Susan Bonamici? It sounds like she has an important role within this topic, but how so?
    Other than those two questions, I think your culminating project is very well put together and raises a good point which I wouldn’t have thought of about students being unable to access the information they need! Also, I think your letter is very well written and addresses your points very clearly!
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Danelle

    Carissa,
    This is really interesting. I honestly didn’t know much about neutrality. I’m curious what your research question is because I don’t see it up there. I understand the idea of your question I just want to know what it actually is. I found what you had to say was very interesting and at the same time super scary. I don’t know what I would do if certain sites I used couldn’t work anymore. I also am curious to know why is the women Susan Bonamici important, who is she?
    I think your project was very well researched and interesting. It made me wonder what online companies would do in that situation. I think it is a great topic and I would love to find out more. Good topic!

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