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The internet is pivotal to our everyday lives.

We rely on it for communication, information and entertainment. Without it, a lot of us would be a lot less productive, but the current state of the internet is being threatened by the repealing of net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the idea that the Internet is accessible equally to businesses, corporations and people using free Wi-Fi in coffee shops. Internet service providers direct digital traffic, and net neutrality makes sure they don’t discriminate.

For example, if one person likes to use Google, but someone else likes Bing, the ISPs can’t slow down Google search engines because Bing is paying them more money.

But the Federal Communications Commission ignored the public’s opinion on this matter, and as of December 2017 net neutrality has been repealed by the FCC.

This act could create many differences in the internet as we know it. For example, we could see ISPs charging extra for the ability to use streaming services and social media, or speeding up the websites of companies that pay them more money, making them more desirable and harming other companies.

Most people agree that net neutrality is vastly important and that it needs to stay in place to maintain the freedom that we all have grown to expect online.

Sydney Smith, La Crosse