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Net Neutrality

by Beth Ann Koustas
Posted on Nov 30, 2017

On Nov. 21, the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) announced plans to dismantle net neutrality. Net neutrality is a set of rules put into place by the Obama administration. According to the New York Times, these rules require internet providers to give consumers equal access to all content online. Internet service providers (ISPs) are currently prohibited from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. ISPs are also not allowed to charge customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services such as social media access.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that the proposal with end the government micromanaging of the internet. ISPs and Telecom companies have voiced their support for the proposal. However, companies like Google and Facebook said the proposal is disappointing. Facebook said they maintain that the internet should remain open for everyone. Since the announcement was made, the FCC has received over 20 million public comments, most in opposition of the plan, according to the New York Times.

With Pai in charge, the vote is expected to be 3-2 with the two democrats on the committee voting against. Forbes said that smaller companies may see their websites slowed down so much under the new rules they may be rendered unusable, whereas big companies like Netflix and Google will have to pay extra money to remain easily accessible. Consumers can also expect to see their rates go up, similar to what has been seen in the cable industry for years.

ISPs will be able to bundle websites and charge for their use, just like cable companies bundle television channels.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that the only thing that can stop net neutrality rules from being overturned would be if Congress were to pass a law doing so.

Websites such as savetheinternet.com and battleforthenet.com have popped up in opposition to the proposal. Users can donate to lobby against the proposal, call or email their congress members and sign petitions.

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