Net Neutrality Repeal Could Leave ‘Hole’ in Student Learning


Austin Carlton, Staff Writer


In such a modernized and technology-reliant country, the internet has become a necessity. The recent repeal of net neutrality, though its effects are not immediate, has the definite capability to cause disruptions. Doctors, police officers, architects, lawyers, are all educated people that are taught by teachers. Teachers nowadays use the internet to do their job. Ending net neutrality can threaten education in ways that aren’t yet realized.

Many teachers use video platforms to support curriculum and provide a visual example for what is being taught; without net neutrality, such video platforms may not be readily available for teachers to use and thus can put a hole in student learning. Teachers should of course not base curriculum around videos, but using them to advance discussions is reasonable.

Another problem that arises without net neutrality would be the use of Microsoft platforms and similar products. Students are granted free access to these devices  as part of Hillsborough County and they use them for school projects, as well as out of school for things that may help them later on in life like writing a resumé. Teachers also use this platform to make projects like PowerPoints and even to make worksheets for students. A solution could be making teachers pay for educational outlets, but that would pretty difficult (since they aren’t getting their promised pay increase) because teachers have to pay for a lot of other supplies too, sometimes even out of their own pocket.

In Hillsborough County an online class is a graduation requirement. However, taking online classes may be difficult when the internet is essentially non-existent without payment for it.

“I would probably have to go back to regular school if net neutrality affected virtual school,” said former Gaither student and current Florida Virtual School student Shelby Williams, junior.

The requirement may be taken away all together but another issue that could possibly arise is that people who are physically unable to come to school may have to pay for school that should be free.

“I think it would make doing virtual school difficult because it’s free with net neutrality and if we didn’t have it, it would cost money and make people who don’t have much money suffer,” said Williams.

With net neutrality potentially ending, education is just one of several aspect of everyday life that could be effected. The internet is almost necessary for anything in today’s society, and taking it away will most likely disrupt how we as a country function entirely.