net neutrality

The End of Net Neutrality—Or Is It?

Update 8 January 2018: According to Fight for the Future, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality has the required support of 30 Senators to force a vote on the Senate floor!

On December 14th, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to end net neutrality.

Net neutrality refers to regulations on how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide online services to Americans. Now, without it, ISPs can decide what content their customers can access and set fees based on the services consumers use.

What Happened?

The FCC vote reversed a 2015 decision that provided protections for American consumers by requiring ISPs to provide equal access to all information on the Internet. The 3-2 decision, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, was split along party lines, with the Republicans on the Commission voting to dismantle consumer protections, while the two Democrats preferring to retain the regulations.

Despite the FCC’s vote, support for net neutrality is nonpartisan. A recent poll from the Program for Public Consultation and Voice of the People at the University of Maryland showed that the vast majority of Americans, including Republicans, want to protect net neutrality. Their data shows that 83% of all Americans and 75% of Republicans support regulating the ISPs.

How Will Things Change with the End of Net Neutrality?

In the wake of the FCC ruling, companies that provide Internet access now are free to change their business models, providing different tiers of service based on the kinds of content customers access or the websites they visit.

Many analysts predict that with the end of net neutrality, providers will begin charging customers more for access to certain forms of content, such as streaming video and music.

Others suggest that in this newly-deregulated climate, companies may restrict access to unpopular political sites or other material. ISPs could throttle connection speeds if customers use too much bandwidth (you might not be able to binge Netflix shows, for example). And some models suggest that consumers may soon have to pay premiums to access their favorite social media sites.

net neutrality infographic from namecheap
click to enlarge

Small businesses, especially those engaging in e-commerce or providing entertainment like videos or music, might feel the pinch quickly. ISPs will be free to prioritize content for a fee, meaning large corporations with deep pockets will get to move to the front of the line. This could freeze out small companies that cannot pay extra.

There’s Still Hope!

Despite today’s vote, all’s not lost. There are still a few things that may restore net neutrality.

First, there are pending lawsuits contending that the FCC acted improperly by dismissing millions of comments in support of net neutrality. In one case, Jason Prechtel filed a suit to discover how many of the comments to the agency were legitimate.

Next, several states have already come out in support of net neutrality and vow to continue these regulations. For example, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington promised that a version of net neutrality will continue in his state.

Some in Congress are considering new legislation in support of net neutrality. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) recently said, “So many of us in Congress already agree on many of the principles of net neutrality… if Republicans and Democrats have the political support to work together on such a compromise, we can enact a regulatory framework that will stand the test of time.”

What Can YOU Do to Save Net Neutrality?

We can’t count on lawsuits or governors to do the right thing. All Americans need to join together to put pressure on Congress to reverse the FCC vote.

Internet advocacy groups such as Fight for the Future are calling on Congress to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify the FCC action. To make this happen, all Americans must contact their Senators and Representatives and urge them to support net neutrality and use the CRA.

However, we must act quickly. There is just a 60-day window in which the CRA can be activated.

Take Action TODAY!

It’s not too late to save net neutrality. Contact your Representatives and Senators NOW and demand that they use the CRA to stop the FCC’s ruling.

What are you waiting for? Go to Battle For the Net and let Congress know you want net neutrality restored!

If you’d like to learn more about net neutrality and why it matters:

14 thoughts on “The End of Net Neutrality—Or Is It?”

    1. We must not only hope! Each and every one of us reading this needs to at the very least share this if not doing everything suggested. Please take a stand before we lose all our rights.

  1. The vibrant internet we have today was built without the misnamed “Net Neutrality.” “Net Neutrality” is simply government control of the internet using 1930’s telecom regulations. Do your due diligence and search out the other side and see what damage “Net Neutrality” can do to the internet.

    1. P.S. Why should a grandma who sends 3 emails per month, be charged the same as someone who watches 500 hours of live streaming video for their internet service? You do realize there are costs associated with delivering data correct?

      If it were up to Net Neutrality advocates, either EVERYONE would be charged what the 500 hour video streamer customer is charged, or EVERYONE would have the slow internet grandma has.

      No thanks!

  2. NetNeutrality is simply government control and bureaucracy sold to the masses as “protection”. If the internet needs anything, it’s more competition. Competition is far more difficult to get when businesses are bogged down by ridiculous and costly regulations. More competition for your ISP dollars would bring actual freedom to the masses in the form of “choice”. Freedom to choose our ISP would force ISP’s to offer better and better deals, improve their networks, and overall give people more value. What we need is freedom, not government bureaucracy, regulations, and control.

  3. Take a deep breath. The most likely outcome is that the end of net neutrality will be a nothingburger. The Internet was built without net neutrality, and it would be economic suicide for an ISP to charge extra to reach Facebook. Imposing regulations written in the 1930s for different circumstances seems like like poor, nay, stupid public policy.

  4. How is the end of net neutrality any different than the atmosphere that existed from the prior to 2015? Did the ISPs charge more for certain content before 2015?

    “Many analysts predict that with the end of net neutrality, providers will begin charging customers more for access to certain forms of content, such as streaming video and music.”

    They predict? Based on what?

    The best indicator of future actions are past actions. It’s not in any ISPs best interest to do what is ‘predicted’. Since they operate in a free market, the consumer can find another provider at any time, so companies have no incentive to do what is ‘predicted’.

    So in the absence of any facts at all, predictions are made to scare the public.

    The question is WHY?

  5. Why would you possibly think — especially a company as savvy as Namecheap — that MORE government regulation would be a good thing for consumers or small business?

    The opinion expressed in this piece is truly unfortunate, misinformed, and misguided. I wholeheartedly agree with the commenters who dissent to your opinion.


  6. “The Internet was built without net neutrality” True statement but what you fail to mention is that the technology needed to utilize money making schemes that end up cost the consumer more did not exist back then. If it did this argument would be as old as the internet itself.

  7. We the people are and have always been more resourceful. They put up roadblocks, we find new ways. We are too many, and the cat is out of the bag. If someone wants to charge for Facebook, google etc, people will move on. It’s the natural order of things.

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