The Net is Neutral No More
This Thursday, members of the Federal Communications Committee voted in favor of rolling back Obama-era Net Neutrality rules. This decision marks a big-time win for large internet service providers (ISP’s), who will now have much more control over the way Americans use the internet. Net Neutrality was created to ensure a level playing field among content creators, both big and small, by preventing ISP’s from slowing or accelerating connection speed to certain websites. Without Net Neutrality laws in place, ISP’s have the ability to block, throttle or prioritize content based on their choosing.
The votes came in at 3-2 in favor of scrapping Net Neutrality rules. “Consumers benefit, entrepreneurs benefit. Everybody in the internet economy is better off with a market based approach.” said Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai. He believes that this shift will spur investment and innovation, and give consumers more options when selecting internet plans. While the votes are in, the general public shouldn’t expect to notice any big changes in the short term but over time, ramifications could be drastic. “What this proposal would do is it would give broadband providers the legal right and the power to start blocking websites, or censoring content if they don’t have a commercial relationship with that content.” said Commissioner Rosenworcel, who voted against Net Neutrality rollbacks. “The open internet as we know it could change. Perhaps not immediately, but over time. And I think that’s troubling.”