FCC Repeals Net Neutrality: Here’s What That Could Mean for You
Technology| | By Margo Gothelf
The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality on Thursday despite an overwhelming outpouring of disapproval from Congress and the American people.
The “Resorting Internet Freedom” order rolls back Obama-era net neutrality laws that prevented internet providers from blocking websites and regulating their speed.
The vote went as expected in a 3-2 decision among party lines. Democratic Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel voted against repealing the law, hoping to keep the internet a free space. However, Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O’Rielly outnumbered the Democrats, allowing the vote to pass.
The passing of the new vote takes away those previous protections, allowing internet service providers to do what they want with the web, including charging a certain price for visiting certain websites.
“This is not good,” Rosenworcel told The Verge. “Not good for consumers. Not good for businesses. Not good for anyone who connects and creates online.”
So what does this mean for the everyday internet consumer?
Under the new law, internet service providers can cut up the internet as they see fit. This will likely make internet prices go up and give an unfair advantage to bigger companies.
“You are no longer going to be the one in control,” Gigi Sohn, a public interest advocate, told Rolling Stone. “Comcast, AT&T and Verizon will pick and choose the winners and losers, instead of you choosing winners and losers.”
We’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 14, 2017
While this vote doesn’t sit in favor for everyday consumers, the true fight is not over yet. Congress has the option to pass a bill restoring net neutrality, and multiple legal efforts are expected to overturn the current vote.
“The FCC’s vote to rip apart net neutrality is a blow to New York consumers, and to everyone who cares about a free and open internet,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading a multistate lawsuit, said in a statement. “The FCC just gave Big Telecom an early Christmas present by giving internet service providers yet another way to put corporate profits over consumers.”