The FCC voted today to repeal net neutrality protections that have been in place since 2015.
What is Net Neutrality?
First of all, net neutrality rules meant that the government treated the Internet as a public utility. Regulations barred Internet service providers (ISPs) from speeding up or slowing down customers’ access to certain websites and content online. Without the rules, ISPs like Verizon and Comcast can essentially control where their customers can go online.
Prior to today, all traffic that passes through ISP networks had to be treated equally, hence the term “neutrality.”
Under new rules, ISPs will be able to make deals with popular websites like Netflix, where they can charge customers more for “fast-lane” access. All the ISPs have to do is disclose these agreements to their customers.
The FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, was appointed to that position by President Donald Trump. Since becoming chairman, Pai has made it his goal to undue the 2015 neutrality regulations.