The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has voted to repeal net neutrality rules enacted in 2015 to stop Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking and tightening control on content. So what does this mean for academics in the digital world? This topic came to us from EdSurge in their article, “Will Net Neutrality Reversal Hurt Digital Learning? As Vote Approaches, Mixed Opinions.

Many higher-education professionals and advocates were wringing their hands before the vote. They see it as potentially raising the cost of accessing digital learning tools. As well, the possibility exists that entertainment will be prioritized over education and research.

Joshua Clarke, a junior at UMass Amherst, says he’s taken several online classes. “For the everyday student, just accessing resources to study for a test or do a research project could be affected,” Clarke says.

Net neutrality is really important for libraries as well because they are, first and foremost, in the information business. A business that is increasingly online using digital information and providing services in the digital environment. It has never been more important to have solid and pervasive Internet services.

Melody K. Smith

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