The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Thursday morning (3-2) to go forward with the proposal of new rules. These rules could allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to create “fast lanes” of service for content providers like Netflix. Without net neutrality, service costs could be driven up for everyone—hence the reason for the protesting Thursday morning at the FCC.
Nothing is set in stone yet! The proposal is now in its comment period where the FCC will listen to advocates, lobbyists, politicians, and other parties of interest. Once the FCC has taken everything into account, it will write a final set of rules to be voted on (expected to be late in the year).
The Internet should be a free and open to everyone. What can these changes to net neutrality mean for all of us?
- ISPs can demand escalating fees for service providers (like Netflix, Amazon, and Google), which require more bandwidth.
- Prices will then increase for the service providers and it will trickle down to the consumer.
- Consumers have very little options when it comes to an ISP. Without competition and lack of choice, the need for net neutrality is critical.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has come under fire with this proposal. Large tech companies like LinkedIN, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft signed a joint letter stating Mr. Wheeler’s plan presents a “grave threat to the Internet”.