The Northern Light

Access to the internet a right the government should preserve, not a privilege the government should regulate

Snigda Narisetty, Staff Writer

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No matter where we go, there is one quest that is constant in our lives: the quest for finding a good WiFi connection.

We have become so accustomed to the internet and it is such a large part of our lives that we can’t seem to function without it. But what would happen if our access to the internet were limited by the government, as could happen if citizens lose the fight for net neutrality? Is access to the internet a privilege the government should regulate or a right the government should preserve?

Whether it be a teenager in high school or a working adult, the internet has become a mainstream way to connect with people and do work. Junior Joslyn Miller says, “…if it [the internet] wasn’t [provided] , educators, students, and employees at almost every business would be set back tremendously.”

Being a highschool student is hard enough, and most of the work that is assigned to us is through Google Classroom, Turnitin.com, or Google Drive, meaning we would need internet access to finish our assignments. It may seem like a simple thing, but according to recode.net, around 78 million people in the U.S. don’t have easy access to internet. There are also many students at Portage Northern who don’t have access to internet outside of school.

The district has given students ranging from elementary to high school chromebooks, but what is the point in giving us these devices if some of us can’t utilize them outside of school? Sophomore Alex Corey says, “Everyone should be able to use the internet to further their knowledge.”

One solution to this predicament is to have the government provide internet service for the country. In this day and age, it is hard to live without internet access, so it should be considered as a common government provided service.  Sophomore Karen Robles says, “It’s a given that the internet is taking over and it’s up to us to make it easier to adapt to it.”

Just as the government has provided us with postal service to stay connected and highways for that post to get around the nation, it could provide us with internet to help us communicate, research and so much more.

It may be hard to bring this in immediately, but they could slowly integrate it into our society. One downside of this would be the rising taxes. Internet is not free or cheap, even for the government. In order to provide it for the country, they would have to raise taxes. While this is a tremendous issue as tax is quite a controversial topic, we could try and make the cost as small as possible and find a way to lessen the cost and have money set aside for this project.

For example, if only the bare minimum internet is provided across the country for free, the government could charge to have it upgraded in your household or area. This way, everyone has internet, and people who can afford it have faster internet.

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Access to the internet a right the government should preserve, not a privilege the government should regulate