The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, voted on Thursday, December 14 to dismantle rules that were put in place to keep the internet accessible to all with a computer and a Wi-Fi connection. This is concerning news for many Americans, as broadband companies now have the power to control access to different sites, having “the power to potentially reshape Americans’ online experiences.” Many people take for granted the relatively recent increase in immediate search-gratification on the internet. Not long ago, we waited impatiently for our computers to connect to the internet using dial-up.
So, how could this affect you? Well, it will first take weeks for the repeal to go into effect, but the potential effects could be severe. Imagine opening up a search browser to see a message similar to this:
Perhaps the greatest concern over the repeal of net neutrality is the limiting of freedom of speech. In a society where all voices can be heard across the internet wires, many would not if the major broadband companies required payment for different levels of packages. It is a troubling idea that only those who can afford to have their voices heard will receive access.
Another concern is that already giant corporations such as AT&T and Comcast will hold all the cards. Comcast’s senior executive vice president, David Cohen, said “There is a lot of misinformation that this is the ‘end of the world as we know it’ for the internet…our internet service is not going to change.” Although this statement could be true, Comcast would greatly benefit financially from this new structure if they took advantage of it.
For now, it is unclear how the repeal will pan out. Many people took action to support the rules of net neutrality, and many are still fighting to keep them in place.
For more information, visit https://www.nytimes.com