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A Fair Internet?

African American boy using computer in classroom
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 neutrality YOGYSIC/DIGITALVISION VECTORS the state of not supporting either side (noun) He practiced neutrality when discussing whether Batman or Superman is the greatest superhero. .

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 consumer THANASIS ZOVOILIS/MOMENT someone who purchases goods or services (noun) As consumers, we have many options of where to buy our groceries. would get more choices. “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging micromanage PEOPLEIMAGES to try to control every part of a process (verb) His boss micromanaged Jim's work. 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.