Net Neutrality Backlash

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More stories from Isaac Gutierrez

On the 14th of December, the FCC voted 3-2 in favor of the net neutrality repeal, Ajit Pai at the center of it. He wanted to repeal Obama’s net neutrality rules, saying once that it was based on “hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom”. He was a commissioner for the FCC under Obama’s presidency but didn’t see eye to eye with the net neutrality laws. It was when President Donald Trump appointed him chairman, he began to dismantle the it.

The repeal was dubbed the “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. Many feel it’s the complete opposite, however.

Pai’s definition of internet freedom is like this: Large ISPs will have the freedom to control internet access however they see fit, and the millions of consumers who use their services — many of whom don’t have a choice of ISP — won’t have the freedom to visit websites they want because those sites will load annoyingly slow,” said Paige Lenskin of Inverse.com , “ It also means that people won’t have the freedom to start their own business online because their site won’t load as quickly as established competition that’s paid to have its site in an internet speed “fast lane.”

Another thing consumers worry about is the fact that ISP’s would try to sell bundles. As the New York Times explains it: “Want to access Facebook and Twitter? Under a bundling system, getting on those sites could require paying for a premium social media package.” In a few countries, the bundling is already taking effect. In October, Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, posted a screenshot on Twitter from a Portuguese mobile carrier that showed subscription plans with names like Social, Messaging and Video. He wrote that providers were “starting to split the net.”

In Portugal, with no net neutrality, internet providers are starting to split the net into packages. pic.twitter.com/TlLYGezmv6

— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) Oct. 27, 2017

To solve this problem, lawmakers of some states are forbidding internet service providers from slowing down or blocking down sites. Six states including California and New York have adopted this plan, with several other states such as North Carolina and Illinois following suit. Since many of these laws are still in the making, many of them will face roadblocks but that won’t stop many lawmakers from going against the repeal such as Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who stated that “When Washington, D.C., takes away that protection, we must protect net neutrality for our people, for our businesses and for the virtues of free speech.”

In addition, lawsuits against the commission are expected to come as soon as the policy becomes official.  Last week, a lobbying group for big technology companies including Facebook, Google and Netflix announced that it planned to join the lawsuits, giving the opposition substantial new resources. More than a dozen state attorneys general have also announced plans to sue the commission.

It has been almost three weeks since the FCC meeting and they have already received an outstanding amount of backlash from the people and other political officials. The moment that the policy is made official, there will many attacking the policy with lawsuits, in hopes that the FCC will reverse it.

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