download (40)
Net Neutrality Being Voted on By the FCC

by Alex Hearn

On December 14th, 2017 the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) will vote to repeal Net Neutrality. What is Net Neutrality and why is it important?

Net Neutrality rules prohibit internet providers from blocking, throttling, or giving certain websites “fast lanes” for sites that pay. [1]

Net Neutrality was established on February 26, 2015, when Barack Obama was president.

The man trying to repeal Net Neutrality is Ajit Pai. He is the Chairman of the of the FCC. He is also the first Indian American to hold the position. He was originally appointed in May 2012 by Barack Obama by the recommendation of Senator Mitch McConnell. He was then re-appointed by Donald Trump in 2017. [2]

Pai has argued that repealing Net Neutrality is a form of censorship and repealing it will give more freedom to the internet. [3]

Opponents of the repeal say that repealing net neutrality will let internet providers, such as Comcast, slow down or block certain websites that they do not agree with or support. Repealing Net Neutrality would also let your internet provider limit what websites you visit, and make you pay for different packages, such as TV packages. [4]

An example of a country without net neutrality is Portugal. In Portugal service providers can limit what websites you can go to, depending on which packages you buy. [4]

Multiple petitions came out to support repealing net neutrality or to support keeping net neutrality. One of the biggest ones is battleforthenet. [5] Battleforthenet is supported by multiple celebrities and politicians, including John Oliver and Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders said “Companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon will be able to divide the internet into slow and fast lanes, charge more, control what you see and block access to websites” about net neutrality. [6]

Different companies have been under scrutiny for the way they have handled the repeal of net neutrality. Companies like Comcast have said that they support net neutrality. But their actions seem to paint a different picture. They recently changed their pledge on net neutrality. They removed any lines promising to not have paid prioritization, one of the major things banned from current net neutrality rules. [7]

Net neutrality is an important topic, so make sure to tune in when the FCC votes on repealing Net neutrality because it could make a bigger change than you think.