Internet users may be required to pay extra fees to access popular sites such as Netflix, Snapchat, or Instagram in 2018

Net neutrality regulations are in danger of being repealed by the FCC in December


Courtesy of

Net neutrality regulations require internet service providers (ISPs) to provide equal connection speeds to all websites. They also prevent them from blocking or slowing certain web content.

Kaoru Murai, Social Media Editor & Website Manager

A proposal which holds a high possibility of ending internet as we know it was introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Nov. 21.

These new rules, known as the Restoring Internet Freedom order, would invalidate regulations that prevent internet service providers (ISPs), such as Verizon, AT&T, Charter, and Comcast from manipulating connection to certain websites and web services.

Net neutrality in a nutshell:

Currently, all ISPs are prohibited by federal law from favoring certain websites and Web services over others in terms of connection speed. All information on the internet is equally available to anyone who wishes to access it.

For example, thanks to net neutrality, AT&T is not allowed to block or slow down access to Netflix and charge extra to those who would like to have faster access.

Since its creation, the internet has always been open. Currently, all legal content on the Web is equally available for anyone to see, and nothing is provided at faster or slower speeds compared to the rest.

Courtesy of the FCC
Ajit Pai, current chairman of the Federal Communication Commision.

Possible consequences to abolishing net neutrality:

FCC chairman Ajit Pai states that his new plan will be beneficial for investment in broadband networks. “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet,” Chairman Pai explained. “Instead, the FCC would simply require ISPs to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them.”

Critics of Pai, such as tech correspondent Molly Wood on Twitter (@mollywood), point out that in the end, it would just be a matter of whether all internet users are willing to trust the service providers to be fair and transparent with their customers.

Others are very dubious, pointing out the fact that these new regulations are beneficial only to the large corporations currently dominating the broadband industry. For example, in countries without net neutrality, such as Spain, major providers benefit by requiring consumers to pay extra for “add-on” data packages, only giving fast access to certain apps and websites included in that plan.

Entrepreneurs, freelance artists, YouTubers and gamers who thrive on the internet, and those who are unable to afford the “add-ons,” would be put at a significant disadvantage compared to major companies with the economic resources to pay for the add-ons.

Currently, the FCC is made up of five members: three Republicans led by Ajit Pai, opposing net neutrality, and two Democrats in favor. The vote is scheduled to be made on Dec. 14.

Learn about why we think that a repeal on net neutrality is a bad idea here: