Net Neutrality is over

 Ajit Pay, FCC Chairman; photo by Tom Brenner, NYT

The Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, put forth a motion to repeal the rules that ensured that the internet was open in terms of bandwidth. He vigorously defended the repeal before the vote. He said the rollback of the rules would eventually benefit consumers because broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast could offer them a wider variety of service options. His two fellow Republican commissioners also supported the change, giving them a 3-to-2 majority.

Others note that there is nothing in the rule change that would incentivize service providers to provide more content, although it may be that additional content may be provided at additional (and uncapped) costs. 

Sources: "Farhad and Mike's Week in Tech: Net Neutrality is Gone," by Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac, New York Times, December 15, 2017.

Follow up

  • If you want to get a feel for how some people feel about the loss of net neutrality, check out the compilation of memes on YouTube. What is the overall impression that can be inferred from these?
  • List the pros and cons of net neutrality for the following stakeholders:
    • individual users who stream entertainment content
    • small entrepreneurial businesses like restaurants or specialty retailers
    • internet service providers (AT&T, Comcast, Frontier)