Net neutrality rules put in place under the Obama administration are at risk of being overturned.
Today marked the last day the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is accepting general comments on net neutrality following a proposal by President Donald Trump‘s appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who suggested in May removing the classification for internet service providers (ISPs) as a public utility. This could allow ISPs the potential to charge more for consumers to access different websites.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality is the principle that ISPs treat all content equally and do not give preference to specific digital content providers. That means the consumer can load every website, app, video, gif, etc., equally, regardless of where the content is hosted. For example, an ISP cannot charge more for sites that stream movies or promote a specific agenda. This is also referred to as the open internet.
When was the current net neutrality law passed?
After a request from President Obama following public comments, the FCC voted in February 2015 to classify consumer broadband service as a public utility under Title II Order of the 1934 Communications Act. Under that law, the FCC adopted no-blocking, no-throttling and no-paid-prioritization rules, according to the notice of proposed rulemaking released by the FCC. The measure controls how companies provide services to consumers. Under this order, the internet is deemed a common carrier or public utility so ISPs are regulated. Other public utilities include electricity or phone services.
Who supports the Title II classification?
Supporters of Title II classification say it keeps the internet open and accessible to anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. Without the current regulations, they claim ISPs could charge more for access to specific sites and create censorship.
Without it, consumers would be “paying more money to their internet companies to get a…