The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced an upcoming vote on whether to repeal the current net neutrality regulations involving consumers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Well first, what exactly are these regulations?
The regulations -- approved under the Obama administration in 2015 -- are aimed at ensuring equal internet access to legal content for everyone and preventing ISPs from blocking content or slowing down websites. It also included the blocking of charging extra fees and provisions protecting consumer privacy.
The FCC commission is set to vote next month, at a Dec. 14 meeting, on the regulations led by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed by President Trump.
"Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet," Pai said in a statement Tuesday, according to USA Today. "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."
Many people are wondering, if approved, how will this change how we use the internet?
Chairman Pai called the regulations in place "heavy-handed." The potential changes would give ISPs more flexibility in their business practices.
"Instead the FCC simply would require internet service providers to be transparent so that consumers can buy the plan that’s best for them," said Pai, in a column published by the Wall Street Journal. "And entrepreneurs and other small businesses would have the technical information they need to innovate."
The reversing of the current rules would benefit cable companies and their ability to control online experiences. Some worry the new proposal could make it more difficult for people to access certain websites -- making certain content unavailable for subscribers.
The current regulations were essentially created to help broadband subscribers get a quality experience, so check back on Dec. 14 to see if this decision passes.
Many lawmakers took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the announcement:
We must protect the freedom of the internet from the latest @FCC's move to dismantle net neutrality– an attack on America’s entrepreneurship, innovation, & competition of the internet.— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) November 21, 2017
Protecting #NetNeutrality is about keeping the internet open and fair for everyone and having a level playing field for consumers, innovators, and small businesses. I’m disappointed that the @FCC is starting the process to end net neutrality.— Suzanne Bonamici (@RepBonamici) November 21, 2017
November 21, 2017November 21, 2017
By ending net neutrality the FCC and the Trump Administration are siding with telecom giants against internet freedom.