Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules: Potential Impacts on Higher Education

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Last December, the FCC voted on and approved a proposal that would repeal net neutrality. This decision marks the first successful repeal of net neutrality since it went into effect in 2015 under Obama-era regulation. In a recent article published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the repeal of net neutrality allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to throttle “online traffic and allow companies to pay extra for faster delivery of their content” (Martinez and Hoisington). Several members within the higher education associations voiced their opinions and concerns about the decision. One member, Jody Feder, stated:

[T]he vote by the commission to scrap net neutrality would affect research, instruction, and communication on every campus, and would have detrimental effects on ‘students, research, and faculty at America’s private colleges and universities.’ (Martinez and Hoisington)

The article, moreover, discusses these concerns through two relative topics: first, the FCC’s decision to deregulate ISPs; and second, how it limits the availability of online academic resources. In either case, students and educators could petition for their rights to access and view educational resources without bias. This approach could, and hopefully will, stifle academic breakthroughs in fields such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which require significant bandwidth to operate smoothly. 

For more information, read the full article The Chronicle of Higher Education.