Beginning next week, your internet service provider could charge you more depending on what sites you visit and how much content you upload.
It will all depend on whether FCC votes to keep or repeal net neutrality. Net neutrality requires that internet service providers allow free and equal internet access for all users. Regardless of how much data you use or content you post.
“The internet service provider has to treat all of their customers the same.", says Dr. Russell Jones of Arkansas State University's College of Accounting and IT. "They have to treat a big company like Netflix that uses a large amount of their bandwidth. They have to charge them the same amount as they do a startup company, which uses very little of their bandwidth.”
FCC chairman Ajit Pai wants to remove net neutrality altogether. He argues that removing net neutrality would increase competition and innovation on the web. Removing net neutrality would allow ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to charge users that use more bandwidth more money. And also allow ISPs block users from certain sites, or stifle their internet access and speed depending on data use.
The FCC’s potential repeal of net neutrality will change the landscape of the commercial internet as we know it. It will affect personal and business use of the web for everyone from small business owners, to students outside of school. Those who stand to lose from the net neutrality repeal are local organizations. And startups businesses.
Stan Morris created the web-based media company NEA report. He believes removing net neutrality will take away his voice on the web. And the thousands of viewers he’s built online.
“Our business exists and thrives based on people being able to receive our information without having to pay for it," says Morris. "If someone may have to pay at some point to access a website that provides video service or video news. It changes everything. And at that point we don’t know what we’re going to do to survive.”
The FCC will make their official vote on whether to keep or remove net neutrality on December 14th. Whatever vote they take be in affect for the next five to ten years.