On December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made history and voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality.
Well funny thing is, the FCC was established in 1934, and it’s one goal is to ensure that all consumers have reasonable access to how we get our communications (like TV, phone calls, and now the internet), according to metro.co.
For those of you who don’t already know, net neutrality is basically our right to free reign on the internet. Big corporations can potentially charge us for services and even block certain apps. The internet will be divided into two sections, fast and slow. They could even redirect users from one website to another. We could be charged more for the same phone plans, and no one’s happy about it.
Within a month of the vote, a wave of lawsuits were filed to fight the repeal, some of said lawsuits even stating that the repeal of net neutrality broke federal law. “Internet is a utility - just like water and electricity… and every consumer has a right to access online content without interference or manipulation by their internet service provider,” said Mr. Schneiderman via NY Times.
The Governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, has declared through an executive order that any internet service provider with a state government contract with Montana “cannot block or charge more for faster delivery of websites… to any customer in the state,” (NY Times). Bullock is sticking to his word, saying that “if you want to do business with Montana, there are standards on net neutrality you will have to follow.” Hopefully, more states will get the memo and establish their own laws and regulations against the repeal.
Now, there have been some misconceptions about net neutrality, such as service providers blocking users from websites. Providers didn’t charge for service before Obama laid down the internet regulations in 2015, and they still won’t after the repeal. Some providers such as AT&T and Comcast “have promised they won’t block or throttle sites, or create fast lanes for certain content.” (New York Times)
To be successful in today's society, access to the internet is almost mandatory. Whether you use the internet for news, sports, entertainment, or for gaming, this repeal will affect you.