While you are still freely surfing the internet, consider yourself lucky, as in another part of the world this freedom has been quite literally taken away from them. America’s internet situation has taken an undesirable and an unfathomable turn overnight. December 14, 2017, turned out to be a BLACK THURSDAY for people when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to repeal the net-neutrality regulations, which advocates free internet for everyone.
In the era of Barack Obama Presidency, these regulations imposed in 2015 made sure that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do nothing to benefit some types of online content over others. The announcement came as a big win for FCC’s chairman Ajit Pai. Pai has long discouraged net-neutrality regulations, saying they obstructed innovation.
What is Net Neutrality?
To put it in simple terms, Net-Neutrality ensures that all the internet traffic for different websites, such as Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc., are treated equally by the companies which are responsible for its traffic.
Earlier, the regulations barred the companies from practicing the following –
Blocking – ISPs could not differentiate against any legitimate content by blocking any websites or applications.
Throttling – ISPs could not slowdown the data transmission based on the type of content, if it is legit.
Paid Prioritization – ISPs could not create speed based lanes to discriminate between premium paying and basic paying companies and consumers.
Effects of the Repeal of Net-Neutrality?
But now, after Thursday’s FCC voting in America, companies like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc, which are responsible for carrying that traffic, have been handed over the power to decide what content consumers can access.
According to many consumer advocates, the scrapping of the rules would allow broadband providers will start selling the internet service in bundles. So, if you want to access Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, under bundling system, accessing those websites would require you to shell out money. It means you will have to pay for a premium social media package.
However, Netflix has thrashed FCC’s decision to rescind net neutrality and has indicated for a legal battle!
We’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 14, 2017