(WTNH) — Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission has a vote on a complicated issue that will affect nearly all our lives one way or another.
The vote is on net neutrality. Basically, should we all be able to access everything legal on the internet equally and at the same speed, or should there be a fast lane and a slow lane on the internet?
The FCC’s three Democratic commissioners are expected to approve net neutrality. In a nutshell, net neutrality keeps the companies that bring internet into your home, like Xfinity and Verizon, from limiting what kind of content you can get online. It also makes it illegal for your internet company to slow down or throttle the streaming of some services, like Netflix, while speeding up others.
It’s meant to make an even playing field for content providers big and small, and is good for consumers because they, not their internet provider, can control what they see online.
President Obama has been pushing for net neutrality.
“Abandoning these principals would threaten to end the internet as we know it,” he said. “That’s why I’m laying out a plan to keep the internet free and open.”
But a lot of Republicans say net neutrality is a government power grab that hurts business and the free market.
A lot of the big internet providers would like the ability to charge content providers, like ABC or Netflix, a fee to make their content stream faster. They also want the right to choose the content their customers see and don’t see.
There is the possibility that getting rid of net neutrality could save you money. If companies, like Xfinity, can charge content providers, like Nextflix, more for better streaming, they might be able to give away their internet data for free.
Republicans say even if the FCC passes net neutrality as expected, they are going to try to come up with what they call a “legislative solution to the FCC power grab.”