Have you been reading recent headlines about potential forthcoming changes to the ‘Open Internet’ otherwise known as ‘Net Neutrality’ and still unsure what its all about?
The net neutrality broad resurgence has come from a recent proposal introduced by the Federal Communications Commission – the federal regulating body for radio, television, satellite, cable, and, of course, broadband and wireless – which aims to reverse its stand on existing regulations as early as next week.
Of greatest public interest is the most recent set of proposed amendments which critics argue will alter internet accessibility.
In previous regulations, broadband internet (what you are probably reading this on) was classified as a Title II public utility, meaning the internet was deemed a communication tool the public has the right to use, just like say, a telephone line. This greatly expanded the public’s use for the internet and in turn, changed the way we conduct business across all industries.
Championed by Commissioner Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, are amendments to current regulations that would categorize broadband internet as a Title I Information Service and not a Title II Common Carrier or utility-like tool. This change would lift bans on blocking and paid prioritization.
These changes have been met with considerable criticism from the general public, elected officials, and technology advocacy and diversity organizations who worry that Internet Service Providers (IPSs) will be granted the discretion to block, delay, or control sites visited by the public and may begin charging more for access to certain sites.
why would losing #NetNeutrality suck? because the internet is used for so much more than social media. yes, i use it to talk to long distance friends, but i also use it for school. my physics textbook is online. i study with quizlet. i write papers on google docs.
— love, maddie (@Ioveparkers) December 7, 2017
This is a dark day. The internet as we know it is under threat and this action opens the door for large corporations to determine what we see, have access to and possibly what innovators are able to succeed or not. We must fight this decision and ultimately overturn it. https://t.co/RTow6fK7uZ
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 22, 2017
FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has also been publicly dissent on the matters of affordability and accessibility and their implications on low-income communities and the broader national entrepreneurship eco-system.
Text of @AjitPaiFCC’s proposal to dismantle #netneutrality has been released. It’s worse than one could imagine. Confused what it all means? Read my 2-page fact sheet: https://t.co/9xek8r8r8w #SaveNetNeutrality. pic.twitter.com/DivJ4Eawos
— Mignon Clyburn (@MClyburnFCC) November 22, 2017
National entrepreneurship advocates also worry that these changes may stifle innovation and limit entrepreneurs who need access to quality and consistent internet to grow and expand.
Large companies like Amazon, Google, and Netflix were able to succeed because the open internet was founded on #NetNeutrality principles. If the FCC ends all regulations, ISPs will have the final say on which startups are able to reach consumers, and which are throttled. pic.twitter.com/MEDCtDiGyc
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) December 8, 2017
The FCC is set to hold a public Commission meeting on December 14 in Washington, DC, to discuss the matter during its ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ portion of the public meeting.