RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There may be big changes in store for all of us when it comes to internet services because the FCC says it wants to get rid of something called “net neutrality.”
We’ve all gotten used to streaming videos, Wi-Fi, and all the benefits of the internet.
All of it coming to us at the same speed thanks to net neutrality.
But the FCC thinks that’s not necessary.
Just two years ago, the FCC approved net neutrality, but now FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says net neutrality was a “mistake” that “depressed investment.”
And Pai, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, says under his proposal “the government would stop micromanaging the internet.”
“Net neutrality is a principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally, regardless of whether you’re checking Facebook, posting pictures to Instagram or streaming movies from Amazon or Netflix,” said Maggie Reardon who is a senior reporter at CNET.
Here’s how net neutrality works.
Currently, your internet service provider streams video, email, gaming and social media to your home for one set price.
With no net neutrality, your internet service prover could charge you separately for video, email, gaming, and social media access which could turn out to be way more expensive than it is now.
Then, there’s the worry about big companies controlling the speed of the content.
Here’s an example.
Comcast is the largest broadband provider in the country.
It controls and owns all the cables and infrastructure that brings the internet to your house.
And, they also own NBC, which provides content.
With net neutrality gone, companies like Comcast could choose to give their content priority over everybody else’s which means you’re your “HBO Now” could become “HBO later,” you’re gonna have to wait a while.
Under the proposed FCC changes, it’ll require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices.
But, will big companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon police themselves?
Some industry watchers say they don’t think so believing the big guys will stifle competition.
Others worry that big companies will charge extra for high-speed access killing the little guy.
“For larger companies like Google and Netflix, they can afford to pay these extra fees, they can afford to pay to get into the fast lanes,” said Corynne McSherry, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “But smaller startups, small companies, non-profits, libraries, governments, they can’t afford this.”
The FCC votes on removing net neutrality on Dec. 14. If it does abolish it, some in Congress say they may fight it.