Net Neutrality

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is about to pull the rug out from under the net neutrality rules on Dec.14. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposition would revoke the rules that are barring internet service providers (ISP) from slowing access, blocking, or even charging more for a specific content.

FCC Chairman Ahit Pai introduced a proposal that would repeal the net neutrality rules championed by U.S. former president Barrack Obama in 2015. Pai believes that the Obama-era rules were a mistake and that the previous administration deterred innovation and heavily affected the investment in building and expanding the country’s broadband network, CNET wrote.

“Internet rights are civil rights,” said Jay Stanley, an ACLU senior policy analyst. “Gutting net neutrality will have a devastating effect on free speech online. Without it, gateway corporations like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T will have too much power to mess with the free flow of information.”

How will it affect the consumers?

Consumers will likely feel the changes over time, but any shift would take a few years before consumers can truly realize its effects. According to Reuters, one of the major concerns that were raised by consumer advocates is that ISPs could either block or slow the internet down on websites or services that they choose.

Providers can also give a special treatment to their own content or websites that would ask its users to pay some extra fees.

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Consumers Union said that repeal could mean that consumers will get charged higher than what they used to pay. USTelecom, however, disputed the idea and said that broadband prices in the country had been going down even before the Obama-era rules, and revoking the regulations will still allow it to happen.

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally, regardless of what the consumer is trying to access or stream in his own time. Companies such as AT&T or Comcast can’t favor their own content over their competitors.

However, such change in policy originally set up at the FCC could affect how users experience the internet. According to Democrats like Sen.Brian Schatz of Hawaii, repealing the 2015 rules and removing the authority of the FCC will only lead to broadband companies controlling all of the users’ internet experience.

According to CNET, repeal is going to happen on Dec.14. But net neutrality supporters believe that its crucial to reach out to your elected officials to let them know that you’re concerned and urge them to pass bipartisan legislation.

How do you feel about the possible changes with how you use the internet? Share your thoughts and let us know below.

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