• Chandler Allen

FCC repeals Net Neutrality

On Dec. 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission repealed the Open Internet Order, better known as Net Neutrality, which was an Obama-era bill that made internet service providers treat all internet traffic equally, according to Business Insider. In a nutshell, providers could not block legal content, nor intentionally change the speeds at which websites load (referred to as "throttling").

Instead, "The 3-2 vote enacts the Restoring Internet Freedom initiative, which is widely seen as giving internet service providers (ISPs) more power to limit internet access while favouring certain data streams," according to Aljazeera. Those in favor of a more "open internet" also believe that "an end net neutrality will lead to censorship and increased costs for internet connectivity."

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that he voted to repeal Net Neutrality in order to reduce government regulation and promote competition among ISPs. Kathy Grillo, Verizon's senior vice president, argued that the Open Internet Order "undermined investment and innovation, and posed a significant threat to the internet’s continued ability to grow and evolve to meet consumers’ needs," according to Aljazeera.

However, there are many in the public who supported the Open Internet Order, and pro-Net Neutrality groups such as Free Press are already planning on taking the FCC to court. According to the Washington Post, 83 percent of Americans support Net Neutrality. Only 8.6 percent of Americans have access to more than one ISP, "so, if your ISP decides to throttle or censor data, it will affect you immediately and you're 'stuck.'"