What the End of Net Neutrality Means for You

We knew this would happen , but on Tuesday FCC Chairman Ajit Pye announced his plan to achieve network neutrality and transfer control of the Internet to service providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon (which is also Pye’s former employer).

A new plan called “ Restoring Internet Freedom Order ” promises to end government “micromanagement” of the Internet in exchange for additional transparency from service providers. However, he was also widely criticized for lifting consumer protection measures passed by the FCC in 2015.

The FCC is set to vote on the proposal on Dec. 14 and is expected to be passed thanks to a 3: 2 split in favor of the Republicans. It’s not too late to keep the Internet free and open , but if you’re having a hard time understanding or explaining exactly what the end of net neutrality means (and why it’s a problem), here are a few key ways Pai’s plan could affect you. …

Lower speed (or worse) for some of your favorite sites

Without net neutrality, ISPs will be able to split the internet into slow and fast bands – and charge companies to access higher speeds. For small startups that can’t afford to pay extra, this can be a death sentence. Even the bigger tech giants like Netflix and Amazon may not want to pay extra, which will slow down the streaming speed of some of your favorite shows.

Comcast and Verizon also have their own media properties (Comcast owns NBC, and Verizon owns Yahoo and AOL, just to name a few). Without net neutrality, service providers could easily prioritize their own content over competing content. They may even block access to other sites that criticize them or pose a threat to competition.

Higher prices

If a company like Netflix agrees to pay additional fees, chances are these prices will pass to you, the consumer. This goes for almost all streaming services, as well as cloud storage or any other service you pay for online.

The end of net neutrality could even drive up the prices of video games , especially those played online. Service providers such as Comcast and Verizon may decide to charge additional fees for game server connectivity, and this price may be added to future games. You may even have to pay an additional fee for every hour of online play.

Cable Internet packages

One of the main reasons people keep ditching cable TV in favor of streaming online is because you have to pay for 30 (or 300) additional channels when all you want is HBO or ESPN. Killing net neutrality can lead to the same online business practices that force you to choose between different tiered packages depending on which sites you want.

It might be okay if you can get by with a cheap and limited package, but for most people this will mean paying extra for apps and services they don’t need. In the future, gaining access to Netflix or even Google searches could mean switching to a more expensive plan, unless you’re happy with your internet provider’s crappy alternatives.


Leave a Reply