The laws that have governed our internet since its inception are about to change. The FCC’s chair, former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai, has laid out his plan for rolling back rules that are keeping the internet free and fair, known as Net Neutrality.
What is happening?
Pai and the FCC have just announced their plan to scrap the Internet’s Title II status, which was implemented during the Obama administration. It effectively forced Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to connect users with all content of the internet fairly and equally.
With the repeal of the Title II protections, ISPs have the control of what content they connect users with. They can charge businesses fees to provide the fastest connection to those who pay the most, and reduce connectivity to websites and streaming services that don’t pay.
How does it affect me?
If Net Neutrality is repealed, ISPs now control what you can connect to. They could charge you on top of your basic internet package for connectivity to Facebook, Youtube, and Netflix. You may not be able to load a website you frequent because the owner won’t pay the premium for special treatment from the ISPs. The very website you are reading right now is at risk.
Another consequence of the repeal of Net Neutrality is the potential for stifling innovation. Small businesses who rely on connectivity to customers through the internet may lose out to larger competitors who can pay the ISPs service fees. This will have a long-term effect on our economy.
What can I do about it?
This is URGENT! This vote could happen as early as tomorrow, November 22nd. The FCC may try to sneak this vote through while people are traveling for Thanksgiving. We must unite as citizens to contact both our representatives and the FCC as soon as possible, to prevent this critical change in regulation from passing.
Where can I learn more?
Many articles have been written about the FCC’s latest attempt to repeal Net Neutrality: