The Federal Communications Commissions voted 3-2 in repealing an Obama-era implemented protection: net neutrality. The rules of net neutrality barred internet service providers or ISPs from blocking, slowing down, and speeding up other consumers’ internets.
The vote today now repeals net neutrality, allowing ISPs to have full control over their services. This will allow ISPs to charge at their own rate, what can be viewed, and the speed of access or what is known as the “fast lanes.”
Major ISP providers such as Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) will now have full control over their services.
Ajit Patel, the FCC Chairman, who previously worked the Associate General Counsel at Verizon, pushed to repeal net neutrality saying that it was not necessary and “that decision was a mistake.”
Many business complained that ending net neutrality will significantly impact their business, especially the tech giants such as Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), or Twitter (NYSE: TWTR). Yet, Republicans believe that revoking net neutrality will create a stronger economic growth.
New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman released a statement early in December asking the FCC to delays its vote, saying that many of the comments submitted were fake. But the FCC had refused the Democrats plea to postpone the vote.
The repeal will most likely result in higher prices while offering less options for consumers. Even during the net neutrality era it was seen that few companies were blocking their customers from accessing some sites or applications, according to The Verge.
If companies were blocking connectivity then, now they’ll complete control with no restrictions at all.
“This is not good,” one of the two Democrats on the commission, Jessica Rosenworcel, “Not good for consumers. Not good for businesses. Not good for anyone who connects and creates online.”
“I dissent from this rash decision to roll back net neutrality rules,” Mignon Rosenworcel, the other Democrat that voted not to repeal, said, “I dissent from the corrupt process that has brought us to this point.”
While the process of repealing net neutrality will not happen instantly, consumers can definitely expect changes to their internet connectivity within the next month or two. But at the same time, some ISPs try to reassure consumers saying that they will not block or slow down internet connection.
Tech giant, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) issued a statement after the vote saying, "We will work with other net neutrality supporters large and small to promote strong, enforceable protections."
Consumers should not be discouraged by the FCC’s decisions today. The fight for the internet is still not over. Internet users can expect lawmakers and Congressmen to fight back, while the attorneys general of Washington and New York states already moving forward with plans to sue.