Net Neutrality and You: How Net Neutrality Can Affect Schools
With the Federal Communication Commission's changes to net neutrality, teachers’ and students’ school lives can change for the worse. Internet service providers (ISP) can make deals with websites and companies to favor their businesses in internet service plans. If an ISP makes a deal with a website competing with a teacher’s preferred site, the website will have priority, and if the ISP truly wanted, it could place a paywall behind the teacher’s preferred site. The new net-neutrality rules reveal how we have taken the free use of websites for granted. At the moment, schools get internet access from their district offices who get their internet from ISPs. This relationship can negatively impact schools when they need access to sites that require the purchase of a premium package. This purchase would have to go through the district office, and depending on the price, schools may not have enough funds to access these sites.
Many school districts rely only on one ISP; the lack of competition would create an environment where ISPs can control the value of their products. Regardless of whether or not a school is low in funding, many schools may very well be unable to give teachers access to the sites they need.
Additionally, students will be unable to access historical websites that their packages do not include, which can prevent students from completing their homework assignments. "I couldn't do my homework because my parents don't have the education package on our internet service" could be a real excuse for not doing homework in the future. This new lack of access to reliable internet access both at home and at school can be detrimental to a student’s school life. When discussing the ban on net-neutrality, one must understand that these changes to school life would happen gradually and will impose long term effects on the educational system.