On Tuesday, president Trump's new FCC chief Ajit Pai announced his plans to repeal Net Neutrality, which – more or less – creates a fair playing field on the internet.
These net neutrality rules were created in 2015 under the Obama administration.
Right now, we as consumers can surf the internet all day and go to whatever websites we want, provided we have internet. That's net neutrality, it prevents providers from slowing down, blocking, or charging more for certain sites.
“That will not be the case. You may bump into a site that they may want to charge you a premium to access, or you may bump into a site that's capable of giving you a high definition picture and they may slow it down so you can only get a standard definition picture,” said Butte College TV/Radio/Film Associate Professor Mark Speer.
That's because the Federal Communications Commission is trying to repeal it. Let's say you have Comcast:
“Well Comcast has their own service, they own NBC, and they own Hulu. They may push Hulu on you and charge you a premium for Netflix or Amazon Prime,” Speer said.
Without net neutrality, providers could speed up their own shows or slow down shows from competitors, and that goes for any website as well; in a way, this could make our internet service become more like a cable subscription.
“This is basically putting a toll bridge on the internet highway,” Speer articulated.
Large companies like Comcast and Verizon are also petitioning to prevent states from initiating their own net neutrality laws.
Speer said entertainment and news are migrating more and more towards the internet, so if this gets repealed, it can cause some even bigger issues.
“If you had a service provider who didn't like, say, a particular newspaper or a particular news site, they could easily block that and not be penalized, so it's encroaching on first amendment rights,” he said.
The FCC will vote on December 14th whether or not to repeal it.