Debate the issue: Net neutrality

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

For the sake of time, we recommend stopping the video at 1m:36s. We also recommend this 5-minute PBS NewsHour video on net neutrality, "How will rolling back net neutrality affect consumers? You'll have to read the fine print."


 #1 News Story of 2017

Story

  1. The Trump administration is looking to roll back many of the net neutrality rules passed by the Obama administration which will affect how consumers access video, music, online stories and other content on the web.
  2. The open internet or net neutrality ensures that internet service providers, including big companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, treat all content on the internet equally. For example, “throttling,” or the process of limiting download speed, or blocking a person’s ability to see content from other companies, like Netflix, Facebook and Google, were not allowed.
  3. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai says the government should stop “micromanaging” the web and that net neutrality rules hurt businesses. The FCC is expected to pass the measure in December. Those supporting net neutrality will try to stop the process in court.

Discussion questions

  1. Essential question How does net neutrality affect everyday consumers of the internet?
  2. Why do many consumer groups and some tech companies support net neutrality and government regulations? Why are large companies like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast against net neutrality rules?
  3. What options will consumers have to avoid paying more for internet services if net neutrality is scrapped?
  4. Do you think you will be personally affected if net neutrality rules are abolished? Explain your response.
  5. Do you think net neutrality regulations should be dismantled? Why or why not?
  6. Media literacy question:
    • Kim Hart of Axios news discusses how tech companies like Facebook and Google had been more vocal in the past in their opposition to rolling back net neutrality rules. What brought on this change, according to Hart? Why is it important to know the types of organizations involved in the net neutrality debate, including tech companies, internet service providers and consumer groups?

Extension activity


Visit PBS NewsHour Extra for more education resources designed to help teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.  @NewsHourExtra

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