A Fair Internet?

December 4, 2017
Rules were designed to ensure equal access to Internet services. The FCC now says these rules get in the way of competition and innovation.
ARIEL SKELLEY—DIGITALVISION/GETTY IMAGES

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created some rules. The rules gave people equal access to the Internet. They ensured net neutrality.

The rules say Internet service providers are not allowed to block access to sites. They cannot slow online traffic. They also cannot charge customers more for high-speed access.

On November 21, FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he wants to end net neutrality. He wants to allow providers to charge less for slower Internet service. They could charge more for faster service. Pai says consumers would get more choices. “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet,” he says.

Many say Pai’s plan gives Internet providers too much control. They might play favorites. Imagine that your provider slows down your Netflix connection. The reason: another video company is paying it to do so. Pai’s plan “would leave consumers and competition completely unprotected,” says Gigi Sohn. She is a former FCC adviser.

FCC leaders are scheduled to vote on December 14.