I have always been in love with the Internet every since I first came in contact with it. I loved how free it made me feel. Anyone with a computer and an Internet connection could access the same information at the same rate. You could be anyone and do anything on the Internet; there were seemingly no rules or regulation for the most part. Now, I do recognize having a computer with Internet access is a privilege. However, as of 2014 there is an estimated 2,925,249,355 Internet users, which represents 40.4% of the world population (http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/#byregion).
The possibilities and potential upside seemed limitless. For centuries, information took weeks, months, or even years to span the globe. Now that information, such as scientific discoveries, epidemics, and other global issues could be made available to everyone seemingly in an instant. If a cure for a life threatening disease was discovered in France or India or basically anywhere, that information could be shared with all other nations.
I am clearly not the only one who noticed the seemingly limitless potential of the Internet, which has made it quite a controversial issue as of late. Broadband providers, such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast just to name a few have spent a great deal of time and money trying to lobby Congress and the White House to allow them to treat internet traffic differently depending on the website (http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-white-house-thwarted-fcc-chief-on-internet-rules-1423097522?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories).
This would allow them, the broadband service provides, to build in fast lanes and slow lanes, so to speak, into the Internet. Where, for a fee, a company could make sure their information or service gets to the end user faster than those opting out of paying the fee (http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/11/10/full-text-obama-statement-on-net-neutrality/). Luckily, for nearly everyone, Obama has taken a firm stance against the capitalization of the Internet and has stood up in support of keeping the Internet free and equal for everyone, saying that it should be viewed as a public utility (http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-white-house-thwarted-fcc-chief-on-internet-rules-1423097522?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories).
“An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known. “Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas” (http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/11/10/full-text-obama-statement-on-net-neutrality/).
Internet users can let go a sigh of relief for the meantime. Obama has stood firm against lobbyists, and sided with the general public that seems to support a free and open Internet for everyone.