Net neutrality: Game over?

Friday, December 15, 2017

Video Summary: Watch the first 45 seconds of the video for the latest news on repealing net neutrality. See videos below explaining both sides of the net neutrality debate.

Story

  1. In a 3-2 vote Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission ended net-neutrality rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet. Republicans on the commission voted to end net-neutrality and Democrats wanted it to remain.
  2. Net neutrality or open internet regulations set up during the Obama Administration prevented internet service providers (ISP) like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from charging different prices based on how much customers are willing to pay. This includes creating fast or slow lanes or deciding to throttle or block certain websites.
  3. Net-neutrality supporters protested the decision on the streets and online and vowed to fight to put the rules back into place. Several state attorney generals said they would sue to overturn the FCC’s decision.
  4. Broadband service providers who lobbied to overturn the rules say the internet isn’t going to change for users and that they will not favor certain customers over others.
  5. The head of the FCC, Commissioner Ajit Pai who was appointed by President Trump, says less government regulations will result in more competition and cheaper, better internet.

Discussion questions

  1. Essential questionHow did the issue of net neutrality become so controversial?
  2. Why did the issue of net neutrality turn political? Why did Republicans on the FCC vote to end net neutrality rules and Democrats vote to maintain them?
  3. Why is net neutrality also referred to as the open internet?
  4. A recent poll showed 83 percent of Americans favor net neutrality rules, including 75 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 86 percent of independents. Why did the FCC officials choose to make a decision knowing that it was going to be unpopular?
  5. How will this change affect the next five years of the internet?

Extension activity

Still unsure about what net neutrality is? You are not alone! Use this NewsHour Extra lesson, Debate the issue: Net Neutrality, to help your students learn more about the issue. Be sure to watch the short explanatory video.


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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