Heitkamp Speaks on Net Neutrality

The issue of net neutrality came up once again, only this time the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reversed the previous rule.

Sen. Heitkamp expressed that she thought this issue was resolved and that now she and other senators are working toward gaining back net neutrality.

For those who don’t know, ruling in favor of net neutrality would mean allowing the kind of internet access we already enjoy; it would be open to anyone and everyone who can access it. However, the FCC’s ruling opposing net neutrality would mean potentially paying higher prices for faster internet, and higher prices to access more popular websites.

This could result in more than just an extra few cents on the end of an internet bill. This would mean slower internet connection on campus, and potentially significantly higher costs and limited access.

The only thing standing in the way of the reversal of the FCC’s rule is one more senator’s vote. Heitkamp said there are currently 50 votes to reverse the FCC’s rule, and they need 51 votes to reverse the rule.

Heitkamp wants the bill reversed because she believes that everyone should have the freedom to access the internet. Her analogy of the situation was of a traffic jam, where only the rich people can take the fast lane, while everyone else waits in traffic.

When this issue took the public’s eye, her office received 5,500 communications, only 10 of which sided with the FCC. The majority of the people who contacted her office where young people — they were students; they were millennials.

“We do so much to take away millennials’ future, this is an issue we need to listen to,” Heitkamp said.

It’s not an easy task, considering that it’s not the only issue on the Senate’s mind, and pressure on every senator is going up with every new issue.

The biggest issue on many senators’ minds is the deficit the United States is currently trying to solve.

Sen. Heitkamp does admire the civic engagement that has happened throughout the process of this bill. The senator really liked seeing the engagement, especially from young people across the state.

Heitkamp’s advice to people who continue to feel strongly about reversing the FCC’s decision is to continue to contact their senators, and for students who hold residency in other states, to contact their state representative. One more senator can reverse the FCC’s vote.

Sen. Heitkamp enjoys the civic engagement and hopes to see this rule reversed.

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