Net neutrality repeal stirs ire on campus


The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal Obama-era net neutrality laws Thursday, causing concern among some gamers on campus. 

“Gaming? Ugh, it’s too early to tell. The problem with repealing net neutrality is that it puts too much power into the hands of [internet service providers],” sophomore Emmanuel Paterakis said. “We don’t know what will happen because ISP’s haven’t given us any clues yet.”

The repeal of net neutrality will allow internet service providers to charge more for content such as Netflix and Hulu-type streaming services and online gaming which require faster speeds to work.

”We won’t see any changes at all for at least another two months,” sophomore Tyler Gutowski said. “Even then, the transition will be slow. Possibly, if anything, higher ping within game servers.”

The internet service providers such as Verizon and AT&T have lobbied members of Congress to abandon net neutrality. Those companies contend that they provide the infrastructure in the from of cable and cell-phone towers so they should be able to share in some of the profit earned by companies such as Netflix that use that deliver content using that infrastructure.

Paterakis doesn’t buy that argument.

“Currently the power needs to stay where it was, which was in no one’s hands, meaning no one could control our use of the internet, which supports the First Amendment,” Paterakis said. “Repealing net neutrality changed that and put the power in the hands of isp’s.” 

Gamers won’t be directly affected by the repeal of net neutrality, but the game providers such as Valve, Microsoft and Blizzard likely will experience changes that would carry on to the gamers, according to sophomore Ryan Vargas.

“It could make game-service providers like Steam make you pay to use them and install games,” he said. “It makes me mad that the person who made the internet said net neutrality is supposed to always be there, and that five people can decide for a whole country if we have it or not. I don’t think it’ll affect me as much as other people. We need to, as a community, come together and get net neutrality back.”

By Jordi Souto