We’ve talked a lot about AT&T’s push in Springfield to end traditional home phone service—but it and other Internet providers like Comcast have been busy in Washington too.
They’re trying to dismantle historic consumer protections called “net neutrality.” And that’s could mean bad news for our pocketbooks.
Get the facts, and then:
♦ What’s happening?
On April 26, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai proposed repealing historic Internet consumer protections called “net neutrality” that were passed in 2015. The FCC is scheduled to vote on his proposal on May 18.
♦ What is net neutrality and why is it important?
Net neutrality protections forbid Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from discriminating against certain Internet traffic. That means ISPs like Comcast and AT&T can’t….
- force website operators to pay more to avoid content getting blocked, censored or slowed (a.k.a. throttled);
- obstruct traffic from the services from one tech company to favor their own;
- control or influence our access to websites.
This is a pocketbook issue: If website operators like Netflix or Amazon have to pay ISPs more to get on an “Internet fast lane,” they will charge us more for their services.
♦ Who wants to reverse the FCC’s net neutrality rules?
Chairman Pai and the ISPs. “We applaud FCC Chairman Pai’s initiative to remove this stifling regulatory cloud over the Internet,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said.
♦ What can you do?
Fight to protect the FCC’s current net neutrality rules!.
The Washington Post predicted that this will be a “dramatic showdown” between supporters of net neutrality and big ISPs.