Net Neutrality in the Library

Net Neutrality in the Library

One of the big questions that gets left unasked in the debate between Silicon Valley and the big ISPs is the bigger issue about how this affects the public interest and public institutions. This has not been addressed in the debate on net neutrality through the years: What are the costs to public libraries, to state colleges, to K-12 schools, to local governments and other not-for-profit organizations that provide significant public services?”

I’ve always had computer and internet connection (perks of having parents who do computers for a living) but the number or my peers and kids both older and younger than me over the years using the computers in the library and at school to succeed in my fairly wealthy school district would probably be surprising if I weren’t so used to it. Not everyone has a computer; not everyone can afford one. As the article mentions, letting corporations essentially privatize internet service means it’s that much more difficult for public institutions to serve their public on a passable level.

Now, one large argument against what’s covered in the article is “Well obviously they’re going to exclude public orgs..”

Okay. And so what happens when the public catches on that it’s easier to go on the internet at their school or their library? Overcrowding. These places will have to either suffer or have to find the money somehow to expand their servers. Eventually everyone, unless they pay a premium, will have to get used to subpar service or else not use one of the greatest informational pools ever created. Not to mention that there are a ton of different ways to break or get around proxy servers and staff can’t catch all of them right now as it is.

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