The potential Net Neutrality repeal is a trending topic in the US
The potential Net Neutrality repeal is continuing to be a trending topic here in the US, and more and more people are starting to realize how the FCC decision is going to affect their lives. We recently covered what Net Neutrality is and how you can cast your vote for or against it. While Net Neutrality repeal has been accompanied by predominantly negative media coverage and the topic has sparkled furious conversations amongst hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, this Thursday the Republican-dominated FCC will repeal Net Neutrality. Rather than pouring gasoline on the fire, we decided to accept the democratic decision and put down a list of things that will most likely change after the repeal.
Small businesses and artists
When Net Neutrality gets repealed, internet providers will lawfully be able to give priority to specific sites over others. What this means for artists is that if Verizon and SoundCloud start disagreeing at some point in the future, you may not be able to access the music website from your devices. Mobile carriers and ISPs will have the power to render websites such as Netflix and SoundCloud useless. If you are a small business owner who relies massively on Facebook advertising, you may have to start looking for a different platform to promote your business as people may not be able to access it freely and its popularity will decrease. Verizon is pushing a video platform called go90, so you may have to move from YouTube to go90. You may have to start using the Aol search engine instead of Google. If you are a website owner, you may have to pay a premium to ISPs if you want them to allow users with normal internet speeds to your website.
While we keep in mind that tech giants such as Facebook and Google may have to end up forking some cash to sweeten their relationships with ISPs, this may have an impact on your pocket as they will have to find a way to justify the new expense. This can come in various forms, you may have to pay additional $5 to your wireless carrier if you want to be able to access Facebook, or Facebook may have to end up charging its users for the service. If Net Neutrality gets repealed on Thursday, your new home internet bill might start looking similar to your Verizon Wireless bill – ISPs will stop being treated as utility bills. This is an equivalent of giving SoCal Edison the ability to charge you more for electricity used by a Samsung fridge vs. a fridge manufactured by Whirlpool.
After the Net Neutrality repeal, loading an Amazon page may not be as easy as it is right now. Your connection will depend on the relationship between the two companies. The internet provider of your choice will have the power to slow down your connection to sites that are on their naughty list. You may be taking for granted the fast speeds that you have now – soon it may take you minutes to load your favorite online magazine. ISPs will not breach your first amendment; they will simply make you wait more unless you, or the website, pay them.
One of the perks of living in the free world is the fact that if a company decides to abuse their power over its clients, these clients are free to leave and look for a better solution. If you are lucky enough to live in densely populated areas, you most likely have access to a few ISPs so you can pick and choose. If you live in a place where there are just one or two broadband providers, then you most likely should not be happy to see the Net Neutrality repealed as you will not have other options but to pay what you are being asked. And we all know that nowadays, the internet is not a luxury but a necessity.
Twilight of modern Internet
Currently, there are many websites expressing their protest against the so-called ‘twilight of the modern internet’ and want ISPs to continue being treated as utility companies. Others are glorying the decision to repeal Net Neutrality as this will “restore the internet freedom” for Internet providers and telecom companies. Whatever their decision is, we all will have to respect it – tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook have been tracking your online steps and internet habits for years, now a few more big names such as Verizon Wireless and Comcast will simply join the crowd and get their piece of the pie.