Net neutrality is a term that you may have heard.
But not everyone knows what it means.
“Net neutrality is what keeps the level playing field in place for people on the internet, meaning they can go to any site, all content has to be handled equally,” said Bill Ramsey, a tech expert.
Right now, you are able to go to any browser and website at the same speeds and get the same content no matter who you have as an internet service provider.
But, the Federal Communications Commission chairman is looking to change that by voting to repeal the rules next month.
Under the new laws, your provider would be able to charge internet companies for speedier access to consumers.
“The consumers aren’t going to be able to go to websites the same way that they always have and expecting the same kind of speeds,” said Ramsey. “For instance, if they’re subscribed to Comcast and they try to use Netflix, and Netflix isn’t paying this extra fee, their speeds may be way less than what they’re used to.”
But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says the way things are going, the government is micromanaging the internet.
To break it down, the changes could be compared to a toll road. Right now, the content providers can go through each lane at the same speed. But with net neutrality eliminated, every lane costs more. And the more money the provider is paying, the faster they can go through the toll road. And those costs could potentially trickle down to internet users.
“The costs for let’s say Netflix may go up, said Ramsey. “Because Netflix now has to try and pay for these extra speeds, extra connectivity to all of these different providers, they’re not going to eat that cost. They’re going to pass it along to the consumer.”
Ramsey says small businesses could also be affected if net neutrality ends.
He says it may take longer to load their websites if larger businesses get preferential treatment.
The FCC will be voting on December 14th.