Why the death of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries

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Q&A with to Lynne Bradley, the director of government relations at the American Library Association's Washington office.

The Internet's eyes turned to the Federal Communications Commission, as the panel approved a plan to consider allowing Internet service providers to charge Web sites like Netflix for higher-quality delivery of their content to consumers.

Another group who cares deeply about this issue is the library community. The Switch spoke to Bradley about how network neutrality affects libraries, the people who rely on them and public institutions at large.

“Net neutrality is really important for libraries because we are, first of all, in the information business. Our business now is not just increasingly, but dramatically, online, using digital information and providing services in this digital environment. That means that we need to have solid and ubiquitous Internet services,” she said.

As to the impact network discrimination could have on libraries, Bradley added: “And what we as librarians and as educators in our communities see is that subtle differences in these speeds can make a great difference in how a user receives and uses the information. Even slight slowdowns will have an impact and can potentially limit public access to public schools, to public libraries, to public education.”

Why the death of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries