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FCC Votes To Review And Potentially Rollback Net Neutrality Regulations

by Kyle Hilliard on May 18, 2017 at 04:09 PM

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Net neutrality is an important issue for video game players who use the internet regularly, and today the FCC voted to re-examine the regulations set in place to ensure the unobstructed use of internet that were established in 2015.

It's difficult to simplify the issue of net neutrality, but it basically boils down to whether internet service providers (ISPs) require regulation to keep the internet on an equal footing for all products and websites, or whether ISPs should have the right to make those choices for themselves. Currently, as enforced by rules set in 2015, internet service providers (ISPs) cannot limit bandwidth, or provide faster internet speeds to company that pay more for the privilege. The FCC, specifically from the direction of recently appointed chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, wants to re-examine those rules and lift them, in order to allow ISPs to control internet speeds as they see fit, or potentially, in ways those ISPs see as profitable. Most groups that represent the cable and telecom industry support rolling back the regulations. The Internet Association, which includes companies like Amazon and Netflix, oppose rolling back the regulations. 

Today, the FCC voted to re-examine the rules set in place in 2015 to maintain net neutrality and potentially roll them back.This vote opens up a period of public comment leading up to some point in the future when a final decision will be made.

This issue came into the spotlight in particular last week with the aid of John Oliver's HBO show, Last Week Tonight, where the comedian and his team established a website, in order to create a simplified avenue for those interested in voicing their opinion about the issue to the FCC. That site is not currently redirecting users to leave comments to the FCC as the FCC is not currently accepting comments, but it will be back up and running soon.

For more on the admittedly complicated issue of net neutrality, you can read some of our previous coverage here.

[Source: NPR]


Our Take
Those opposed to net neutrality argue that little would change if these regulations were rolled back. That begs the question, "Then why are we re-evaluating it?" Additionally, if a company has a choice between a route that is technically not illegal and leads to greater profits at the expense of the average internet users' ability to use the internet, I think I know which call they would make. These are businesses after all.