FCC Plans To Gut Net Neutrality, Allow Internet ‘Fast Lanes’

from Wired

THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS Commission will publish on Wednesday its plan to reverse Obama-era net neutrality rules that banned internet service providers from blocking or slowing down content, or creating so-called “fast lanes” for companies willing to pay extra to deliver their content more quickly.

The new FCC order will throw out almost all of the agency’s 2015 net-neutrality rules, including the prohibitions on blocking and throttling content, senior FCC staff said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. The order will also ban states from imposing their own net-neutrality rules to replace the federal regulations.

The order also reverses the decision to classify both mobile and home broadband internet services as “common carriers” like telephone services. That change will allow the Federal Trade Commission to enforce antitrust laws against broadband providers should they engage in anticompetitive behavior. The order will also require broadband providers to publicly disclose if they block or slow content, or accept payments from companies for preferential treatment.

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” FCC chair Ajit Pai said in a statement Tuesday. “Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”

More here.

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21 Responses to FCC Plans To Gut Net Neutrality, Allow Internet ‘Fast Lanes’

  1. Erik Peterson December 8, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

    As someone uses the internet each and every day, I find this situation concerning net neutrality to be really appalling. Quite often, I tend to side with GOP ideologies, but in this situation, I don’t know what they’re thinking. Net neutrality is very important to us as consumers because without it, internet service providers will be able to force the customers to pay for better service. I really think that this model is not good, because people who use the internet the most (18-29 years old) are also those with the least financial stability. This means that the largest group of people who use the internet, for the most part, will only be able to afford the worst speed packages. Although i can understand where the FCC representatives are coming from on their reasoning, I still think that overall, getting rid of net neutrality hurts the everyday consumer. The FCC wants to give more power to corporations, ultimately letting them decide whose content they want to show, and whose they want to limit. However, I can foresee this causing even more issues down the road. If net neutrality ceases to exist, I think that a lot of ISP will become semi-subscription based. Let’s say your internet provider is Comcast in 5 years. Comcast has made deals with Amazon, Twitch.tv, and Wal Mart, meaning that the websites connected to each of those companies run just like normal, at a fast speed. If you wanted to watch something on Netflix or Hulu, Comcast would intentionally slow your connection speeds to those sites, unless you paid a fee. From a company standpoint, this is amazing because you can generate a lot more revenue from companies with whom you don’t have agreements with, while advertising for companies that you do have agreements with. From a consumer standpoint, this is absolutely horrible, because you would have to pay even more money to access certain sites, on top of whatever monthly subscriptions that you might pay.
    All in all, I think that it is vital to us as consumers to do whatever we can to save net neutrality in the future, even if the FCC decides to “gut it” at the upcoming meeting on December 14th. A couple of weeks ago,I saw posts on every single page that I visited on the internet that said to save net neutrality. This is not a joke. It is really important that we iron out all of the big issues that concern digital platforms and the internet as soon as possible, or else us as a group of consumers will end up paying for it for the rest of our lives. There are several petitions online that already have more than one million signatures on them, urging the FCC and congress to protect our rights. Hopefully, the FCC decides to listen to the people (the people who also have the power to vote them out, by the way), and save net neutrality for everybody.

  2. Greg D'Ottavi December 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

    The internet has become the largest platform of communication and media for millions of people around the world. In the last 20 years, the Internet has grown astronomically and caused a boom of technological advances. Personally, I am an avid user of the internet throughout every day and I know I am a part of a much larger percentage that does as well. Right now, the services and companies that have become billion dollar tech giants offer their products for free at the same rate depending on how much an individual pays for internet service. Essentially, net neutrality prevents these internet service providers from forcing consumers to pay for higher quality service. For instance, without net neutrality, if I were to pay my monthly subscription of Netflix and watch it daily, I would have to buy in addition, a higher quality internet plan if I wanted it to run fast and work efficiently. Net neutrality is a vital part of so many internet consumers’ lives and it has not been mentioned or discussed until recently when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided it wanted to destroy it.
    In my opinion, this is not something that should go unnoticed and become reality. Net neutrality is the reason why the internet has been able to flourish the way it has in recent years. So many companies have become a part of the internet community because of the vast number of consumers who use it on a daily basis. With that said, if corporations are going to begin charging more for better service, then many people are going to be out of luck on this expense. It does not make sense to me why the FCC would want to give more power and control to the internet service providers who already make substantial amounts of money. Their reasoning behind this proposal according to the article is, “the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet. Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.” Essentially, the FCC wants to limit undercover activity that these corporations may already be doing and attempt to better the consumer. In reality, this would only allow internet providers to force consumers into buying the most expensive plan while they name the price. In order for consumers to have any internet service work at the same caliber they have been used to for the past few years, they will pay mounds of additional charges.
    Overall, I believe net neutrality needs to stay for the betterment of the entire internet community. As someone who cannot personally afford to be making any extra expenses so that my Netflix movie does not have to buffer, I believe in net neutrality. There are already millions of people signing petitions and making a movement to protect net neutrality. My hopes are that the FCC does not get their proposal passed based on the amount of people who are voicing their opinions against it. Only time will tell whether or not the world wide web is going to change forever, but for the sake of the consumer I hope it does not.

  3. Mark Marino January 25, 2018 at 11:47 am #

    With any discussion that is brought up with net-neutrality, the argument arises of how much power the government imposes on their people. Net neutrality has been a hot topic in the past 10 years as it either gives freedom to web surfers or take away their fast, unlimited internet service. Under current net neutrality rules, anyone can search anything at anytime, anywhere, a true free open market. The government wants to take that away. Their interest is to protect the interest of the consumer. But, are they really doing it for the consumer? Or are they using their powers to have complete surveillance over internet users. Under net neutrality, service providers will offer packages, like many do with television service. They will give fast lane priorities to those who are willing to pay more for their service. In my opinion, that is very unfair and here is why.
    The internet was based off the principle that it will provide and relay information in a proper and timely manner. Unfortunately, today, most of the internet is infested with black market users who attempt to spoil this privilege for everyone else. Daily, the government, corporations, and their Information Technology employees are forced to fight off cyber attackers. This can no longer occur in my opinion. I do not think net neutrality and the government having control of the web is a solution. Instead of having direct lines with other countries, there needs to be a way to filter the good information from the bad. Countries like Russia and North Korea attempt to sabotage the United States and other free democracy countries. This battle against other countries should not be placed upon the people of the United States.
    The argument for government net neutrality is that service providers will have to be transparent with their practices and relay that information to the consumer. In this action, providers will become quasi-government owned. They will have to pass along data and information about their users to the Federal Communications Committee. With that, it leaves the consumer under the jurisdiction of the FCC and the service provider. Both entities will be able to track and monitor everything someone does on a daily basis. From streaming a Netflix movie to researching the new iPhone. These actions are already in place, but it will be to a greater extent, once the passing of net neutrality is put through.
    The argument of net neutrality also brings up the topic of internet fast lanes. This will be an unlevel playing field so to speak when it comes to consumers browsing the internet. Similar what mobile service providers do now, in home internet providers will apply that philosophy to their user. For example, if I choose to purchase the most expensive service plan which gives me the best, and fastest service, and my neighbor John chooses a less expensive plan and we choose to access the same website at the same time, I will get there before he does. Now, this may not seem like such a big deal but when it comes to say stock purchases or to pre order the latest smart phone, that is where it gets complicated and whether or not it is “fair” to John. Of course, the winners in this are the large corporations that will most likely purchase the best, fastest internet that is accessible. This will prove to be the ultimate argument by the consumer. If the internet was created to make a fair, level access, then how is net neutrality follow those principles?
    In the end, net neutrality will protect the government. Forcing, by law the service providers must surrender their information and data they have collected of people everywhere. In doing so, this allows easier access for the government. Instead of filing for a warrant to search communication records, everything is now transparent between the two parties. The government will have more power than ever with the passing of net neutrality, unfortunately with this Republican administration, there is not much that the consumer can do about the matter.

  4. Coby Dunn January 25, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

    Net Neutrality is one of this generation’s biggest controversies. Almost everyone under the age of twenty five does not know a world without the internet or without phones.So far, the internet has been free to use, and available to everyone on an equal platform. websites and providers don’t have faster speeds, and anyone can look up anything they want. The fear that many people have of abolishing net neutrality is the unfortunate case, that having fast internet speeds will now cost money. personally, if I could pay to have faster streaming for the websites I want, I would enjoy it. On the other side of that though, I would hate to have my access blocked to other websites for not paying my internet provider enough money, or having the wrong internet package.

    Another key issue that arises out of the destruction of net neutrality is that smaller business will be destroyed. They would not have the money to pay for their websites to have faster speeds, and the bigger companies that have enough money would overshadow them. Again, on the other side of that, people may argue that it is unfair that big companies like verizon or comcast have to have the same internet speed as smaller companies. If they can pay for it, why shouldn’t they be able to?

    Finally, if net neutrality does come to an end, most of us will not notice a difference very quickly. There will obviously be tons of rules and regulations limiting companies on what they can and cannot do to their customers in what they limit and speed up. However, our internet providers will eventually, and most likely, package our internet in a way that our tv subscriptions are packaged. In the end, it is just going to be yet another thing that we have to pay for. Net neutrality is an important aspect of the internet. If gives everyone freedom, and the ability to have an equal playing field when customers use their websites. So far, net neutrality has worked. ending it would cause confusion and it would upset people. However, there is not much that the customers can currently do.

  5. Andrew Kuttin January 26, 2018 at 2:48 am #

    Net Neutrality is an issue of great importance to me. In July of 2016, a UN resolution declared access to the internet a basic human right and disruption of access to it a violation of that right. Because internet access is now a human right, it is the job of the government to protect it just like any other basic human right. I believe that the FCC’s recent order fails to protect that right and actually violates it. Dissenters may argue that basic access to the internet was not altered because every American still has the same ability to purchase access to it. They way that I see it, because internet service providers will no longer be classified as common carriers and will not be prevented by law from allowing preferential access to certain websites, access is fundamentally being disrupted. The internet should continue to be treated as any other basic utility. We allow municipal water suppliers to charge residents for access to their utility, but they cannot offer a “premium hot water” package that would result in everyone who could not pay the added cost having to take cold showers. If internet service providers are allowed to create a preferential “fast lane” for customers and companies that are able to pay an added price, those who cannot will be forced into a slow lane, which fundamentally goes against the concept of a basic utility. A free and open internet is the responsibility of the government to preserve and the FCC has failed the people it exists it protect.
    An interesting constitutional battle has come as result of the FCC net neutrality controversy. One part of the recent FCC order is a pre-emption of states instituting their own net neutrality rules to undermine the FCC decision. Already two states have done exactly that. On January 25th New York Joined Montana as the second state to craft their own net neutrality rules to be instituted in the state. They are planning to deny state contracts to internet service providers who do not follow the rules they implement. The supremacy clause of the constitution grants federal law supremacy over state law, but with the added legal action taken by 22 state attorneys general against the FCC order, it is becoming increasingly likely that the constitutionality of this issue will be taken to the Supreme Court for remedy. As the posted article on the blog mentions, “the Administrative Procedure Act bars federal agencies from making “arbitrary and capricious” decisions”. Since the FCC under Obama only a year ago argued a pro net neutrality position, opponents of the current FCC position may have a legal claim that the order was capricious. An article from the Washington post entitled, “The net neutrality lawsuits are coming. Here’s what they’re likely to say” identifies this as a possible legal claim against the FCC and highlights another. Opponents may choose to focus their suits on the administrative process the FCC took to pass the order. Since the FCC defined the internet as an information service and did not entertain the question of whether or not it is a telecom service, it could be argued that the FCC did not take proper time to distinguish the two. The other potential legal issue looming over the FCC is the discovery of millions of net neutrality centered comments that were potentially posted by faked or stolen identities. The pending legal battle over net neutrality is setting itself up to be one of the most important precedent setters of this generation.

  6. Antonio Macolino January 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm #

    The controversy surrounding Net Neutrality is one of the biggest controversies of modern times. Maybe 10 or 15 years ago, not many people would care about or even know what net neutrality is. But, in today’s society, it is the one set of laws that gives everyday citizens the internet that they know and love. Basically, Net Neutrality is a set of laws that was put into effect under the Obama administration. These laws allow everyone to access the internet freely and at full speed. These laws bar companies from forcing consumers to pay extra for higher speeds or better streaming qualities. But, things are changing. The new chair of the FCC, Ajit Pai, seeks to end Net Neutrality. In doing so, internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T will have the power to charge people large amounts of money to access the internet at high speeds. This can also lead to corruption as the cable companies will begin to favor whatever internet companies pay them the most money to get internet access.
    Although this change seems to mostly be wanted by the GOP, there are members of both parties that strongly disagree with this ruling. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel stated in regards to net neutrality being repealed, “This is ridiculous and offensive to the millions of Americans who use the Internet every day.” Many politicians feel this way and there will be immediate backlash once the repeal occurs. Some groups are already preparing to fight Ajit Pai on this by labeling this as capricious. This would mean that the FCC would be barred from repealing Net Neutrality based on precedents set in the Administrative Procedure Act.
    Obviously, this article was written before any voting occurred. What eventually ended up happening was that Ajit Pai and the FCC won and Net Neutrality was set to be repealed. But, it was met by very harsh backlash which is delaying the process. As a daily user of the internet, I am strongly against the repeal of net neutrality. In my opinion, it is just a way for the big internet providers to monopolize the industry and make the average consumer suffer. Countless people will lose the ability to use the internet as they know it. Speeds will be slower and the only way to fix this will be to pay high prices. This would also make it impossible for small companies to survive. As stated in the article, many small companies will go out of business and it will be virtually impossible to start up an online company. Only the tech giants with “deep pockets” such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon will survive. It is for these reasons that I am opposed to the repeal of net neutrality. It would be a huge problem to society if its repeal stands.

  7. Ryan Mack January 26, 2018 at 8:12 pm #

    Net Neutrality has been a big debate in recent years peaking in 2015 when it was first implemented and more recently in 2017 when the FCC voted to eliminate the regulation under the Trump Administration. Under the Net Neutrality rules, ISPs, or Internet Service Providers, were prohibited from throttling speeds of connections to competitor’s services in favor of their own or their partner’s. Net Neutrality regulates the internet like a monopolistic utility under Title II of the Federal Communications Act of 1934. The federal government is overreaching again and applying 20th century regulation to a 21st century world. Net Neutrality’s intent is to create a fair, free, and open internet that allows everyone, regardless of their service provider to equal access to any content. The proposed regulation would stop the government from micromanaging the internet and treat everything on a case-by-case basis. Companies would be required to be transparent about their agreements and practices with consumers and anticompetitive behavior would be primarily addressed by the Federal Trade Commission. A concern though is if smaller content providers can’t afford to pay for fast lanes to end users. They probably would have to grow and increase customer demand to convince an ISP to make a deal. Current FCC chairman Ajit Pai had ended an FCC investigation into whether Verizon and AT&T were engaging in anticompetitive behavior by zero rating their own streaming services while counting against data caps for streaming other content providers’ content. For example, in 2016 Verizon had eliminated NFL content streamed through their NFL Mobile app or go90 app from counting against customer’s data caps. Similarly, AT&T stopped counting their customer’s usage of DirecTV NOW streaming services against AT&T mobile data caps. As a Verizon customer who frequently uses NFL Mobile, I support the zero rating on Verizon’s streaming services because it still allows me to stream other non-Verizon content within my data limit. Should an ISP not provide the fast service a consumer is looking for they could just switch to a competitor service provider. If I didn’t like or use Verizon’s services, and I would rather use DirecTV, then I could switch to AT&T. If I could pay for faster service to certain websites or servers such as to Netflix or Xbox Live, I would. Content providers and service providers could then provide different plans for consumer’s connection speed to certain sites depending on whether they want to take advantage of the paid fast lane or not. Treating all data the same congests the internet and essentially slows it down for everyone. If some of the data were prioritized, this could alleviate internet traffic issues for some. ISPs and content providers have already been finding ways to increase the speed of delivery to end users, through peering-a direct connection between an internet provider and a content provider. They’ve kind of re-wired the internet. Direct connections between service or content providers and ISPs have aided in cutting back internet traffic congestion. Netflix and Comcast have already had a deal for direct connections allowing faster connection speeds to Netflix for Comcast subscribers. Apple is also reportedly striking deals with ISPs for the construction of a Content Delivery Network where they place servers in the data centers of ISPs.
    A second issue arising from getting rid of net neutrality, aside from anticompetitive activity, is that not everyone in the U.S. has access to a variety of ISPs preventing them from switching to others and being controlled by a monopoly. Eliminating net neutrality could allow ISPs like Verizon to invest even more in upgrading or expanding service territory and infrastructure by increasing profit. Also, not every user needs fast equal internet. People who use internet service for VoIP (Voice Over IP), HD video streaming, video chatting/conferencing, and multiplayer online gaming need high bandwidth and high speed for proper functioning and the best quality. Those services could be improved. People who use internet only for checking email or basic web browsing or even video downloading typically don’t need a high speed because they’re not requesting a lot of data. These users could take advantage of cheaper, but slower internet plans. Eliminating net neutrality could lower the cost of internet for some users.
    Relinquishing regulation of anticompetitive actions to the FTC is the right thing to do, since it’s the FTC’s job to regulate monopolies. The internet is not a monopoly, and if it becomes one it’s really not the job of the FCC. I believe that eliminating net neutrality will become beneficial to all internet users and American businesses.

  8. Connor Wiedeman January 26, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

    If there is one thing that people in todays world can’t live without it’s the internet. People have become so reliant on this technology that they have lost simple skills such as reading a map or even reading analogue clocks. Not to say that people shouldn’t still know these things, but this is why net neutrality is such a heated and unifying issue. Repealing net neutrality is taking away the one thing that made the internet so revolutionary; it was accessible to everyone the same way. But now that can change depending on how much you are willing to pay to one of the few giant service provider companies. You were either on the internet, or not. Soon you may be on the internet, but could be limited or slowed when browsing certain sites.
    Peoples right to a equal and fair internet should be protected. People don’t have much of a voice if the powerful service providers begin legally taking advantage of them. If peoples right to a fair internet is not protected in the law, then what is protecting it. Service provider companies are going to do their best to maximize their profits and aren’t going to turn down money to boost connection to certain cites out of the goodness of their hearts. The sad reality is that people will pay any price for internet connection now because they simply can’t live without it. The internet is too essential to peoples lives for them to refuse to pay a higher price. People need the internet for work and school making internet service one of the most inelastic products out there. Repealing net neutrality is just a way for big businesses to legally take advantage of the everyday citizens relying on their product.

  9. Antonio Chirichiello January 26, 2018 at 8:58 pm #

    There are times in life, I feel that the government needs to intervene to regulate and deregulate certain industries in the United States. If there are no regulations to abide by, then corporations would be creating monopolies which would cause limited success in that industry. The Net Neutrality rule, which had been placed in effect by our former president Barack Obama, prohibits the internet companies to control a customer’s internet speed at their expense. They call this fast-lanes for the internet. This poses an issue because, the consumer who has less disposable income than another consumer will be faced with slower internet service to accommodate the other consumer who has more income. So, the customers who are will and able to pay more money are then considered a priority consumer.

    The Federal Communications Commission also called the FCC is responsible for regulating, the companies that provide services in the communications industry. Comcast, time warner cable, Verizon, and AT&T are few of the companies that reside in this communication sector providing services that convey information from one person to another.

    From the consumer standpoint, the deregulation of the Net Neutrality law is an upsetting situation because, the service providers have the authority to only offer their streaming services over the competition. These actions will cause the consumers more money to use the internet, because they would have to pay for the competitions streams. The internet has never been like, whoever has more money is top priority,

    As a business major, I strongly believe in the capitalist idea because, one day in the future I plan to own and operate my own business. Also, I feel at that too many regulations may be harmful to the succession of a business, regardless of the size. According to the article it states that “the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet’ In my opinion the government should a mediator to the people to make sure we are all law abiding citizens.

    Furthermore, I would conclude that the consumers will be outraged and unhappy about the decision to revoke the net neutrality rule. This law causes the average citizen to spend more money on a service then they should. It is hard enough for the average American to live a comfortable livelihood and this puts a strain on their incomes even more. This decision only benefits the service providers allowing them to profit as much as they see fit. In my opinion, the internet has been available to us for a couple decades. Why should be change something that is not broken?

  10. Gabrielle Pietanza February 1, 2018 at 11:24 am #

    The societal definition of the internet which aligns more with the establishment of the world wide web has great power. Most individuals use some sort of internet and technology daily using Google or other browsers for their internet searches. This article focuses on the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, and their plan to reverse the net neutrality rules that banned internet services from blocking or slowing certain content and inversely, streaming other content more quickly for companies willing to pay extra.

    This more simply means that larger companies with more capital have the ability to streamline their content to users by paying more than their competitors. A large concern is that smaller content providers will be unable to afford these streaming prices and in turn will lose customers to quicker alternatives. At least a portion of these smaller providers will be subject to being slowed or blocked altogether due to inability to pay higher prices in order to be streamed. You should not be discouraged to use a smaller provider due to the time of service purely because unlike a large corporation, this provider is unable to pay. This has the ability to turn the internet and well established technology companies into monopolies as they will drown out their smaller or more local competitors which are unable to compete with the price additions net neutrality brings.

    The Trump administration is focused on repealing the net neutrality rules the Obama administration put into place. I believe this would be a significant problem effecting individuals in many aspects of life. As consumers, we as people have the right to equal and fair internet. In this day and age individuals use the internet everyday in many aspects of life. Be it for work, school, family, or leisure we are surrounded by technology of which is supposed to aid us in our lives. Although not always correct, individuals tend to believe information they read online. With that said we should be free to use whatever program, provider, or website we choose without any discriminatory action for or against them due to the question of their ability to pay higher prices in order to be properly streamed.

    Although it is noted both publically and in this article that the order repealing net neutrality requires providers to publically disclose if they block or slow content, accept payments, or provide preferential treatment, this is still dangerous. Unless we search for and follow the daily stream of transactions between private technology companies and providers it will be easy to glance over or not understand what is occurring. With societies general ignorance on this topic it is simple to imagine the number of individuals who will overlook what is happening right under their noses even if they try to follow the trade occurring. The common individual simply does not have the knowledge to constantly follow this issue to its complete extent. Additionally, officials standing on both party lines find issue with the repeal of net neutrality. Many politicians believe there will be uproar and this process is currently facing a great deal of backlash. If net neutrality however is appealed I am interested to see how the internet changes and how we as a society adapt to it.

  11. Sebastien Jose Fortes February 2, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

    The Net Neutrality laws established under the Obama administration were put in place for a society that continues to use the Internet more every day. Librarians archive PDF files in their databases. Presidents tweet about other countries at arbitrary times of the day. Students post about parties they shouldn’t be talking about. But the Federal Communications Commission thinks services like these should have a price tag. The decision made by the FCC in December to repeal Net Neutrality protection laws will prove problematic in a very short amount of time if Congress agrees.

    The article above cites a tweet made by President Donald Trump, claiming that Net Neutrality would target conservative media. A link to the tweet shows that he doesn’t elaborate on this, but ironically, a lack of Net Neutrality would be the cause of any media bias. A “free” Internet, as conservatives call it, would throttle, block, or speed up different sites at a service provider’s whim. If a provider had liberal beliefs, then they could slow down sites like InfoWars. On the other hand, a conservative provider could slow down other sites like Tumblr. Though the FCC has a Fairness Doctrine to protect both sides of arguments, the fact that they’d repeal Net Neutrality shows that they could also repeal said doctrine. There would be very little “freedom” without Net Neutrality. Another problem is that without neutrality, a domain registrar would have to make a deal with every Internet Service Provider. Not all providers would agree on a price to set—otherwise, there would be no competition. This would be an inconvenience to many companies and customers alike.

    Ajit Pai argues that this repeal would create an entire flourishing industry out of the Internet. In reality, considering how many people have posted all over Reddit, Facebook, and even Snapchat, a majority would rather not pay more. I agree that the Internet could be a good source of money for the economy, but it would not be convenient, or even practical. This repeal could ironically create a bigger debt if new rules put into place. Furthermore, there’s already enough of a struggle for people to make ends meet. College tuition and loans are far higher than they were in the last century, and the minimum wage is proportionally smaller. Considering how many young people need the Internet to get jobs and maintain their scholarships, there should never be a subscription fee to use it.

  12. Rayjohn Felicia February 2, 2018 at 8:12 pm #

    In one of the most controversial moves of this decade, the Federal Communication Commissions decision to gut net neutrality has caused a great uproar in the United States. For many of my classmates, all of them being on different sides of the political spectrum, knows that this will greatly impact not only our generation, but for many generations of the future. It is only natural that, as people, we have a fear of the unknown. With this decision, many people fear over the future of the Internet and have voiced their concerns over how this can impact our daily lives. Personally, for me, I have witnessed first hand actions people have undertaken to prevent the FCC from making this decision. I have seen my friends calling the offices of their district’s congressional representatives and senators to voice their concerns to stop the vote on the issue. On campus, I have seen many student organizations go around the school to sign petitions. In my fraternity, I have seen many of my brothers argue about the positives and negatives of gutting net neutrality. For days on social media, all my news feeds were filled with news articles from various news networks and many of my friends and followers ranting about this topic. Even though this article is already outdated as the decision has already been passed, this article by Klint Finley does a great job of explaining the overall situation of the FCC and the possible provisions that can be approved within the next few months.
    The questions many people have asked are very relevant and are legitmate concerns for the future. “What can I now access with my current Internet package?”, “How will my business be affected?”, “Will it cost more to advertise my website/service because of this decision?” Personally, I believe that by removing net neutrality will greatly affect this country negatively. By gutting net neutrality, it gives an unprecedented amount of power to the Internet provider companies. On top of the fees that customers already pay for their Internet, companies can now charge their clients more for access to certain content. Network companies can now control how fast you can access Internet content based on how much you pay for your Internet package. So the questions remains, why should I pay $50 more just to access things like Twitter, on-line shopping services, etc.? This issue will be extremely painful for low-income people. A few weeks after the decision by FCC has been made, I was spending time with a long-time friend who came from a lower income family. He expressed to me concerns over how this decision can affect his life and his family’s. He explained to me that with risings costs, it will become a greater hassle with him and his family using the internet for very crucial needs, like finding jobs online or for school. For him, he finds it ridiculous that in the future, his family will theoretically pay “$150 more a month, just so he can fill out a job application”.

  13. Steven Merunka February 3, 2018 at 11:34 pm #

    Net Neutrality was put in place by Obama to ensure a fair market and an affordable internet package due to the ever growing demand for the use of the internet. A few decades ago, even though computers did exist, did not have as an important role as they do today in our society. With the ever growing necessity so is the demand for faster internet so the productivity of your work can be enhanced. With net neutrality it closes the gap of top internet companies and the smaller corporations making it plausible to sign a contract with those smaller corporation.

    In terms of the chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai he has an interesting backstory. Not only is he expressing the positives of net neutrality as he states in numerous press conferences it is unfair for websites to be able to block content that flow through it but network providers couldn’t do the same. Ajit Pai before being apart of the FCC was actually an employee to the ever growing company known as Verizon. He was unanimously voted in as a commissioner in 2012 and became the chairman in 2017 by President Trump. The interesting thing to consider is the fact that before all of this he worked for one of the top network providers os it raises the questions of his actual motive and reasoning behind destroying the protective wall which is net neutrality.

    Most ideas are mere speculation but it does raise eyebrows when a former employee of the top three network providers sudden becomes chairman and is trying to abolish something that was put into place to ensure the safety of other providers and keeping fair regulation between all providers. May it be hey it’s an act to empower Verizon and make them more money by offering internet booster packages or some other reasons that he mentions making the market fairer than it already is and flourishing the industry. Personally I feel taking away net neutrality is one step forward, two steps back. With many protests arising from this very controversial topic it’s interesting to continue reading about this topic and see what comes of something that was placed in Obama-era presidency to assure fairness in the market while also not allowing a monopolization within the network provider company.

  14. Steven Merunka February 3, 2018 at 11:35 pm #

    Net Neutrality was put in place by Obama to ensure a fair market and an affordable internet package due to the ever growing demand for the use of the internet. A few decades ago, even though computers did exist, did not have as an important role as they do today in our society. With the ever growing necessity so is the demand for faster internet so the productivity of your work can be enhanced. With net neutrality it closes the gap of top internet companies and the smaller corporations making it plausible to sign a contract with those smaller corporation.

    In terms of the chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai he has an interesting backstory. Not only is he expressing the positives of net neutrality as he states in numerous press conferences it is unfair for websites to be able to block content that flow through it but network providers couldn’t do the same. Ajit Pai before being apart of the FCC was actually an employee to the ever growing company known as Verizon. He was unanimously voted in as a commissioner in 2012 and became the chairman in 2017 by President Trump. The interesting thing to consider is the fact that before all of this he worked for one of the top network providers os it raises the questions of his actual motive and reasoning behind destroying the protective wall which is net neutrality.

    Most ideas are mere speculation but it does raise eyebrows when a former employee of the top three network providers sudden becomes chairman and is trying to abolish something that was put into place to ensure the safety of other providers and keeping fair regulation between all providers. May it be hey it’s an act to empower Verizon and make them more money by offering internet booster packages or some other reasons that he mentions making the market fairer than it already is and flourishing the industry. Personally I feel taking away net neutrality is one step forward, two steps back. With many protests arising from this very controversial topic it’s interesting to continue reading about this topic and see what comes of something that was placed in Obama-era presidency to assure fairness in the market while also not allowing a monopolization within the network provider company.

  15. Antonia James February 4, 2018 at 4:18 pm #

    Since this article was published, a decision to dismantle Net Neutrality was made by the FCC. The agency dismantled rules regulating the business that connect consumer to the internet. This decision will grant broadband companies the power to reshape American ‘s online experiences. There action reversed the agency’s 2015 decision during the Obama administration. In 2015, rules were intended to keep the internet open and fair. Internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon we explicitly prohibited from speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific website and apps. This decision to dismantle reflects the views of the Trump administration and the new FCC chairman who believes that unregulated business will eventually yield innovations and help the economy. In 2005, the FCC formally established the following principles: To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice; Consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement; Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers..
    This decision would clearly have a negative and positive impact depending on who can afford to pay the higher cost. It would eventually be the same as our cell phone plan. Those who have more money can afford to purchase the unlimited data package. On the other hand, the struggling consumer can only afford a limited package that imposed so many restrictions. You have to constantly monitor your usage to make sure that you do not exceed your limit. There several instances where I couldn’t access the internet at a critical moment because of the limitations. What will transpire our internet service? How much will it cost? So many of us rely on it for almost everything. From directions to finding a doctor to connecting socially with our loved ones around the world.
    “Net Neutrality” promotes openness, fairness, and freedom to all. No one should decide which website you should have access to, the speed and the content. Without “Net Neutrality” social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter might not have been possible. It “promotes investment and innovation,” which would result in “better quality, lower prices, and more choices for consumers. This is why I believe the internet should be regulated like a public utility. We live in a society where money and powerful controls so many of what happens in our everyday life. Without the freedom to express ourselves, society would not be the same. For changes to become a Revolution, our voices must be heard and without technology and the freedom to choose that would not be impossible.

  16. Greg Mattessich February 6, 2018 at 1:32 am #

    For years, the FCC has abided by rules of net neutrality to keep the internet a free and opportune utility for all of the public. As of recent, some of the newest legislation allows for the scrapping of these rules. Without net neutrality, broadband providers are allowed to charge services certain rates for higher quality content.

    The FCC critical argument is that the market is better off with less regulations, and the market will benefit in the long run if it is more free. For instance, if Netflix is unwilling to pay the cost for faster bandwidth, they can easily just go to a different ISP. Usually this is the case, but the ISP industry is dominated by just a few companies and is a natural oligarchy. Comcast is the only company to buy internet from in certain areas.

    Fortunately for well-established companies like Netflix and Amazon, they still have the purchasing power to cover such costs. This will dramatically hurt the smaller websites and services however, as they will have high cost requirements to enter the industry, Entrepreneurs are completely shunned away and disincentivize to compete in such a market. This will also come with a cost to the consumers, who, with this legislation, will likely be charged more depending on what content they wish to use.

    The internet is arguably the most revolutionary quantum leap toward progression in world history. Since the dawn of the internet, we have been more free to discuss and create ideas among one another and freely speak our minds. Today, we are more connected and globalized than ever before. The conservative doctrines that back up FCC’s claims of a better internet without net neutrality are completely insidious are lead to deceive misinformed people. Repealing net neutrality benefits absolutely no one; in fact, the only real direct benefit goes to ISPs and its shareholders, who not only forsee a large profit, but will also become the gatekeepers of the world’s only completely open platform.

  17. zhijie Yang February 8, 2018 at 9:08 pm #

    In the American political discourse system, network neutrality itself is a relatively complex concept. This principle requires equal treatment for all Internet content access, and prevent Internet service providers (operators) from commercial interests control data transmission priority, so as to ensure the “neutrality” of network data transmission.
    Verizon, for example, is an American operator, while Gmail and Outlook are rivals; In theory, Verizon could sign a contract with Google, which would give Gmail data priority if it paid for it, which would make it much faster for users to access Gmail than Outlook. If Verizon does, it can reap huge economic benefits, but it runs counter to the principle of net neutrality.
    On December 14, 2017, trump and Ajit Pai voted to repeal the net neutrality act, despite opposition from the public. From today’s standpoint, this is almost a farce caused by the difference of interests and politics; In the process, the interests of Internet companies and ordinary people, who are truly influenced by the net neutrality act, are almost ignored.
    I personally support the principle of net neutrality. Because networks are extremely important, broadband networks can even define the 21st century; The way people connect will also define people in terms of business and culture. America’s business and culture will face an existential problem if its doors are completely controlled by the big four operators. I’m very worried about that. In addition, if the FCC and congress become spokespeople for the big four operators, tens of thousands of other businesses and countless consumers will be affected.
    The big four operators are like Gatekeeper. If gatekeepers really control the web, it’s not just the opportunities for fair access to the web, but the development of cutting-edge technology. Because cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of things are heavily dependent on data connectivity, the lack of network neutrality can cause concern about the development of these technologies.
    The reason behind this is that if Internet providers are allowed to discriminate against the information they carry, then big companies must have more power to gain a monopoly to prevent small companies from entering. Because big companies always have stronger bargaining power and deeper pockets. At the same time, the network operators are also prevented from interfering with individual choice. In the context of concerns that operators are becoming too strong, this set of constraints is being developed. Now a large number of Internet companies are opposed to the abolition of legislation in the network, fearing that the unfair competition caused by the cancellation will put them in a dilemma of value. But in these companies, Netflix has supported the cancellation of the Internet. Because he’s actually one of the biggest players in the competition. The biggest winner of this cancellation is undoubtedly a channel provider like Comcast. They can expect huge bargaining power and more potential profits after the cancellation.

  18. Justin February 9, 2018 at 1:53 am #

    The idea of abandon net neutrality causes a lot of concern to the small company that can’t afford to pay for the “fast lanes” to the internet provider. “Fast Lanes” fee allow the companies to deliver their content to the consumer quickly. Under the current net neutrality law, the internet service providers must treat all data on the internet the same and not discriminate differently by the user. Without the net neutrality rule, the internet provider can do whatever they want on the data, for example blocking data that don’t pay them enough money and make sure their content gets out faster. With the recent merger between Direct TV and AT&T, the company like Hulu and Netflix will be put in the disadvantage, because ATT control most of the internet service, that includes mobile phone and home service. For example, I am from Atlantic City, where I live there is only one option for internet service, which is Comcast. If net neutrality got repeal and I will have only one option, which is watch content that Comcast allow me to watch. In the feature, it may take me half hour to access Canvas, simply because Canvas can’t afford to bribe Comcast.
    Internet service providers are the only company that benefits from the repeal of the net neutrality. According to Ueland that Comcast Xfinity offers cable internet service across 40 states to approximately 110 million people and it is the largest internet provider in the US. The new law will only make Comcast bigger but no smaller. However, the government does plan to classify both mobile and home broadband internet services as “common carriers” like telephone services, which it allows the government to enforce the anti-competitive rule like the oil industry. And the government will also require the broadband providers to disclose if they block or slow content. But the law can’t stop internet providers from favor their interest, which it means price will increase for consumers to watch online contents. The repeal of net neutrality will put a lot of the pressure on the local mom and pop shops, most of the small business can’t afford to pay the internet service providers while the large companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft will have the option either pay the internet providers or create their network. Without net neutrality, I am certain that will not see another Hulu or Netflix in the feature. And also the internet providers can use the new law as the anticompetitive purpose, for example in 2016 ATT announced that it would give special treatment to DirecTV’s new streaming service by excluding it from ATT customers’ wireless data caps. Image if without net neutrality what will ATT do to Verizon’s streaming service? Of course, they will slow down and cause it to unusable no matter what. Also, the Federal government will also pass a law to ban the state from trying to have their own net neutrality rule, which it makes the matter even worst. As consumers groups, we better get prepared to challenge the new law in court or ready to pay the extra money in court, because the FCC already pass the law to repeal net neutrality.
    In respond to Erik’s comment, after the repeal of net neutrality passed, the internet speed package price will probably stay the same, which will not impact young people. However, the cost for watch contents online will increase by a lot, or some of the small content providers will not even survive. We only can access what the internet providers want us the access; all the other internet service will become either too slow or inaccessible.


  19. Chris Goldfarb February 9, 2018 at 6:35 pm #

    Until about a little over two years ago I had no idea what Net Neutrality was, I never really thought about the way the internet gets to me I just knew I could turn on my laptop or my phone and it would be there. I had essentially the same understanding of the internet as a 60 year old, yes I could utilize the internet better and more efficiently but I never really knew how it all worked. While I’m still a bit in the dark about a lot of it I have since been able to educate myself about at least some of the inner machinations of the most important invention of the last couple generations. Along with educating myself on the topic of the internet I have also attained some knowledge on the standard practices of modern businesses. Having knowledge on both of those things especially when it comes to the debate over Net Neutrality is pretty important because it’s led me to realize the ridiculousness of the situation. Put simply I don’t understand the logic behind people saying “I don’t trust the government I would prefer big businesses to have the power to operate in a way that’s best for them” and that’s essentially what you’re saying if you don’t support Net Neutrality.
    Obviously a lot of people would say that’s a dangerous oversimplification and that there are plenty of reasons to be against Net Neutrality and I agree that there are plenty of reasons to be against Net Neutrality, if you’re someone like a Verizon or Comcast executive then sure it makes sense for you to be against it but besides that I just don’t see the argument. On face value I feel that people see it as a business vs. Government Issue when it’s actually a big business vs. Government Issue, it’s a subtle difference but an important one. Net Neutrality lends its whole existence to the concept of protecting consumers and breeding competition the latter being a fiscal conservative’s dream. The reason I feel comfortable making these claims is because by allowing for so called internet “fast-lanes” as the article talks about you place a huge burden on internet start-ups. This is because what that effectively does is close out smaller business like new ISP’s (Internet Service Provider’s) or new streaming services from entering the market because they won’t have the capital to compete. Businesses only have one goal and that is to make as much money which isn’t a bad thing, it’s how our capitalist society functions so well most of the time. The problem is that one way for established businesses to ensure that they keep making money is to set up barriers to entry so that they can have more control over the market.
    No one should expect large companies to do anything different because acting in self-interest is how the system incentives you to do as well as possible. What that means though is you can’t just let big businesses make up their own rules because given the option they will always try and snuff out smaller businesses. So even if you don’t trust the government because of the bureaucracy and the corruption that’s at least partially valid yes but at least the Government’s stated purpose is to advance the best interest of the people juxtaposing that to a business’s goal of making money it seems pretty clear to me who should be in charge of handling the Net Neutrality issue.

  20. Lucas Rodriguez March 23, 2018 at 9:14 pm #

    In our current societies, the internet has inevitably become a platform of communication, entertainment, and an informational database. We have become so accustomed to our cyber-world; so invested into our monitor screens as if it powered our daily lives, that the web is arguably an atmosphere that individuals occupy incessantly. These Net Neutrality rules, have allowed individuals to have the freedom of internet access without the disruption of having to have a specific subscription plan or other package. These rules, have allowed for web based liberation, and without them we could potentially see a pool of monopolistic powerhouses that may be able to infringe on our current rights; the internet will not be nothing more than a medium of maximizing profit amid companies. Last year, the FCC had planned on repealing such net neutrality regulations that had been placed in 2015. These regulations had protected consumers from being exploited by their ISPs, Internet Service Providers, so that they would have free and equal access to all of the internet’s components. The reason why such a repeal would be beneficial to such companies and corporations could be easily explained in terms of the law of demand and supply. If a certain provider or service has a specific website or platform that their package guarantees, the demand for that ISP will certainly rise. With this increase in demand, companies now have the opportunity to raise the prices of their service and collect more revenue. But in terms of competition, this would make certain application services such as Netflix vulnerable to manipulation. Without such regulations the ISP could now decide whether or not to allow certain services on their provider networks, which would make companies vulnerable to pay more. For example, if Netflix was excluded from any provider, they would have to form a deal so that their own services would be on the certain ISP. For this reason, Netflix would have to pay an extra sum of money to the provider and in return this would make them raise their own prices to compensate for the loss. When they raise their own prices, this could potentially create a problem for their profit as it may fall with the rise in price. Besides this aspect of creating a manipulative battleground between application services, this repeal has also thought to infringe on certain first amendment rights and privileges. An individual has the right to publish an article on any website under certain jurisdiction. With this repeal, they could potentially be closed off from the public as if their thoughts were being oppressed into a single area of inattentive interest. In terms of journalism, this would additionally create a single source of news coverage. If an ISP prefers certain news sources over the other, the people who are subscribed to that provider could be victim to a biased source of media and information. This free internet that promotes the first amendment rights would now become a jail of preferred thought and biased opinion. Our web based freedoms are not the only things that may be infringed upon, our very innovative thoughts and access to public information will be subject to harassment.

  21. Yash Wagle October 5, 2018 at 7:58 pm #

    In our society the internet is vastly considered to be the great equalizer. Just a couple clicks of a button and everybody with an internet connection is able to access information, communicate, and even entertain themselves. Moreover the internet has long been a platform that has brought forth many new applications and websites that we use from a day to day basis. Yet now with FCC reversing Obama-era Net Neutrality rules, this view of the internet as an equalizer, and a platform for new invention and applications is at jeopardy.
    With the abolishment of net neutrality rules Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) have the ability to control how individuals interact with the internet. This is by ISP’s making deals with internet companies like Google, Netflix, and Facebook to create internet “fast lanes” for themselves. Basically, ISP’s will be looking for a financial sum to make some websites/applications faster, while the rest remain slow. The downside of making some of these websites slow is that they will not be able to compete with the competition that has a faster website, and therefore the slow website who doesn’t pay the ISP effectively becomes irrelevant. One thing that does need to be understood is that ISP’s in certain situation especially when it comes to entertainment, have their own personal interests. Meaning that plenty of these ISP’s are not only broadband providers, but are also have their own TV packages. A couple examples of this are Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T who own Verizon Fios, cable, and DirectTV respectively. These companies have no interest in web-based entertainment/ streaming companies achieving these fast-lanes as they are the ISP’s competition. From a Bloomberg article titled “YouTube, Netflix videos Found to Be Slowed by Wireless Carriers”, just as the title conveys ISP’s are at this moment proven to be throttling websites like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.
    The most tragic part of the end of net neutrality is the fact that we may see less innovative websites and applications being created. It is completely understandable that companies like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu have the financial resources to cut a deal with some ISP’s. But as mentioned earlier, slower websites will be unable to compete with their faster competition who cuts a deal with the ISP’s . What ends happening is that new companies which are starting from the bottom, and don’t have the financial resources available to pay the ISP’s will be discouraged from innovating and creating their application or website. Just as the Wired article said “protecting net neutrality isn’t about saving Netflix but about saving the next Netflix”, basically conveying the fact that competition, and the innovation that comes with is doomed by no net neutrality.
    This issue of net neutrality is something which is still very prevalent and is argued about in the present, as this Wired article was written a year ago. Recently the state California created their own net neutrality Bill, which is currently being sued against by the Department of Justice as well as the several ISP’s. It will be interesting to see what the results come from this lawsuit as it lays on shaky legal ground. I hope that if the State of California wins the suit that other states will follow in making their own net neutrality bills.

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