Net Neutrality to End June 11 Amidst Ongoing Controversy
Reuters reported the release of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) document stating that a date has finally been set for the end of net neutrality
Last Thursday, Reuters reported the release of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) document stating that a date has finally been set for the end of net neutrality.
In December of 2017, congress voted to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality act, allowing internet and telecommunications giants to sell the highest speeds to the highest bidder. The repeal was spearheaded by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and was immediately opposed by other members of congress. In spite of staunch opposition, the final portion of the repeal is set to take place on June 11 of this year. Twenty-two states are currently fighting the repeal on both the legislative and social platforms.
“Net neutrality” is more than just another FCC buzzword. It’s a complex set of legal regulations preventing any internet provider from using network speeds to promote or hinder online services—including popular streaming favorites like Netflix and YouTube TV.
The online community found itself in a heated debate about the necessity of net neutrality, and the impact that the concept has on the free market. Many fear that allowing Internet providers to essentially sell better access to certain services will slant the market and slow the growth of new online entities.
This creates an elite pool of top online companies that are able to pay for the best consumer access, essentially creating an unofficial monopoly. Not everyone is against the repeal, and some companies say that it will increase competitive spending and create a more lucrative entertainment landscape.
Barbara Underwood, the New York Attorney General, released a statement on the issue, saying, “the appeal of net neutrality would allow internet service providers to put their profits before the consumers they serve and control what we see, do, and say online.”
This reflects the overwhelming sentiment expressed by other government leaders at every level. There’s a chance that they’ll be able to pass some sort of legislation blocking the repeal within the next month, but many states are feeling hard-pressed to expedite the issue.
Verizon (Fios), AT&T and Comcast (Xfinity) have all agreed not to allow paid prioritization of online content, but many concede that if the repeal goes through it would become a certain inevitability for these companies.
Reuters reports that the US Senate may be able to vote against the repeal “as early as next week,” but the odds are heavily stacked against them.
In a statement released on Twitter, Senator Ed Markey writes, “the Senate must act NOW and pass my resolution to save the internet as we know it.”
This is a dire call-to-arms that’s echoed by many who believe that the end of net neutrality will change the way that information is made available to the public in the near and distant future.
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