On Nov. 21, the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pal announced his plans for a complete rollback of the 2015 net neutrality rules. In 2015, the FCC was pushed to establish net neutrality laws prohibiting internet providers from blocking and throttling internet services to consumers. Success in Pal’s repeal plans would effectively end our freedom of internet navigation by allowing providers to control what we do online.
On Dec. 14 this year, the vote to end net neutrality is scheduled to take place. If this successfully occurs, internet providers will be able to charge consumers for visiting certain sites, and those who pay more will have paid prioritization.
The proposed benefits behind repealing net neutrality are unclear, but many seem to be behind the idea that paid internet fast lanes help small developers compete with industry giants. However, these fast lanes are only even considered “fast” because all other sites are purposely slowed down.
Many vocal citizens have organized protests to be held all over the U.S. supporting internet regulation. Today, protesters plan to gather around Verizon stores as Verizon is one of the largest internet service providers backing the FCC’s plans; this is also a bold and clear statement against Pal, a former lawyer for Verizon.
Online, millions of internet users have amassed in efforts opposing the abolition plans for net neutrality. The FCC has received a record 22 million comments regarding their plans, and many websites have banded together to protect internet freedom. Despite these arduous collective efforts by individuals throughout the country, the repeal is still expected to pass.
Regardless of views and positions on the Dec. 14 vote, there is no question that repealing net neutrality would have a profound effect on the entire country and fundamentally change all of our lives.