Today, the FCC voted along party lines to repeal what is known as “net neutrality”. The UK media company The Independent has a short, easy-to-read article on what this means. Here is the most important part:
“Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes,” warns Save the Internet, a coalition of organisations that have been calling for the preservation of the rules.
An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment – relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service.
This would destroy the open internet.
An ISP is an Internet Service Provider, such as Comcast, or AT&T. Now that net neutrality is gone, Comcast (for example) could charge you more to stream music from iTunes than from Spotify. They could also charge Apple a certain price to be hosted at all, and block them if they don’t pay (much like AT&T refused to carry WTHR earlier this year). They could also make it harder to access a news site like CNN or FoxNews, either to make more money, to promote a certain ideology, or because the two CEOs exchanged words at Mar-A-Lago.
Here is the full article: