• August 7 Senior Portraits for the Class of 2019 – (PIHS Auditorium)

  • June 18-22 SkillsUSA Nationals – (Louisville, KY)

  • June 18 Last Day of School – 4th Quarter Ends – 43 days – (Early release at 11:30AM).

  • June 14-18 Underclassmen Final Exams – (Includes 5 storm days)

  • June 13 Play Production Performance for HS Students – (P. 6)

“Industrialization” & “Injustice”

Students and Staff Share Views on Looming Impact of Net Neutrality Repeal

Lautaro+Visuara+%E2%80%9819+explores+Netflix%2C+a+streaming+service+large+enough+that+it+could+only+benefit+from+the+repeal+of+net+neutrality
Lautaro Visuara ‘19 explores Netflix, a streaming service large enough that it could only benefit from the repeal of net neutrality

Lautaro Visuara ‘19 explores Netflix, a streaming service large enough that it could only benefit from the repeal of net neutrality

Acacia Johnston

Acacia Johnston

Lautaro Visuara ‘19 explores Netflix, a streaming service large enough that it could only benefit from the repeal of net neutrality

Acacia R.J., Co-Editor in Chief

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A student rifles through his documents online. Then he looks up and sees Netflix looming on his task bar – always tempting. He plays out this scene in the Presque Isle High School library, squinting and lifting his eyebrows as his eyes scan the screen.

Subconsciously, he knows his documents, his streaming services, and his social media are being threatened by the very subject we’re speaking of, but he blinks and says, “Oh, uh. Net neutrality?”

It’s a phrase often met with that daunting question mark. Before the December decision on net neutrality by the Federal Communications Commission, few knew what it meant and that question was scarce. Now it’s a huge topic but most only have a hazy understanding of it. Most people with at least a base understanding describe net neutrality as a protection against internet service providers (ISP’s) favoring one site over other. This could lead to some websites gaining better and faster service by paying for it while new sites and start-ups would be left in the dust.

The consensus seems one-dimensional, with most believing that their view of net neutrality is the same as the person sitting next to them. But there are nuances to every issue and how its approached.

“I don’t care,” junior David Amero said. But then Austin Moreau, a senior, stated that the decision to repeal net neutrality is, “Extremely negative; there are no positives.” And Moreau’s position is the one most seem to favor. One look at reactions on the internet entails rage over the “industrialization” and “injustice” of the decision.

Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, released a statement claiming that their decision will, “restore internet freedom.” He argues that the internet hasn’t had net neutrality for most of its existence, and it was fine before net neutrality. This is true, but most people’s concern lies in that, sure, big companies didn’t manipulate the internet scape before, but without net neutrality they have the option to do it whenever they like.

They have the option to bundle social media sites into a package and make you pay for that package. They have the option to wipe out search engines that can’t pay for bandwidth like Google could. They have the option to put a price on sites such as YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook. They have lots of options.

Mr. Powers, in his matter-of-fact voice broken by the occasional quip, said that this decision could usher in an era similar to that of the Industrial Age of the early 1900’s. “This is going happen if the decision goes though. There’ll be a new wave of industrialists but instead of steel mills, they’ll be on the Internet.”

The student in the library shrugs at the questions on the subject. He glances back at his computer and says, “I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But if [the repeal] goes through” – he gives a breathy, wry chuckle and shrugs – “all that is going to be a mess.” Pay walls on social media, limited access to documents, the burial of budding websites – yes, it could turn out to be a mess, many-layered at the least. Nodding at the computer, he turns his chair and begins closing all of his documents and tabs.

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