5 Ways a Repeal of Net Neutrality Could Impact Families and Young Children

 

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The Technology in Early Childhood Center empowers and encourages parents, educators, and service providers working with young children to be informed about policies which impact early childhood development and education. Thursday, December 14, 2017 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on whether to repeal net neutrality. This decision impacts families and their young children’s access and use of technology and digital media in many ways.

According to the FCC, net neutrality (also known as “open internet” or “Internet freedom”), is the set of rules that protect your ability to access what you want on the Internet. This set of rules prohibits Internet service providers (learn more about what Internet service providers are here) from blocking or slowing down certain content and prioritizing other content.

 

5 Ways A Repeal of Net Neutrality Could Impact Families and Young Children

  1. This could limit the amount of high-quality technology and digital media tools children have to access.
  2. Currently many classrooms, libraries, and informal learning spaces rely on free content to support children’s learning. Children in less resourced communities would suffer.
  3. The representation of certain cultural ideas, beliefs, and histories could be ignored and unrecognized if blocked by an internet service provider.
  4. The ISPs ability to block certain content impedes on children’s right to free speech.
  5. Parents, educators, and service providers often rely on free information about child development and best practices by non-profit organizations, smaller organizations and researchers. Many of these groups could disseminate less information due to paid prioritization.

 

ACTION: Hearing from Congress may impact the FCC’s vote on net neutrality. Call your members of Congress (find your representatives here) and tell them how policies affect you and the children you serve and care for.

 

Find Out More About Net Neutrality
National Education Association: What net neutrality means to students educators and
EdSurge: Why neutrality matters to education
American Library Association: Net neutrality
Inside Highered: How net neutrality affects higher education
New America: Explanation of net neutrality
Timeline of net neutrality