FCC axes Net Neutrality - what does it mean for us?

- The Federal Communications Commission pulled the plug on net-neutrality, voting to undo the Obama-era regulation, but what does all this mean for Internet users?

The vote essentially allows Internet providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast to slow down or speed up certain services that use that precious data. 

"We may have to pay more money to Comcast or Verizon to access Netflix than we do today," said Ted Serbinski of Techstars. "We already are paying for our subscription but in the future we may have to pay more because that is a different type of data than let's say going to a website or checking your email."

The internet providers will get to discriminate and charge more for things that take up large amounts of data. They'll get two things out of today's decision: More profit, and more power from being able to control data speeds of services like Hulu and Netflix.  

Netflix already released a strong statement about what the FCC did:

"We're disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order."

If anything happens, it won't be right away. Eventually Democrats and other opponents of today's move say this will eventually allow internet service providers to strike deals allowing faster connections to some websites and apps, while slowing down the speed of others-essentially taking neutrality away. 

Republicans, including the FCC chair, say this will improve the internet by allowing providers to invest in better technology and infrastructure.  

Serbinski says the decision is fueling fear of a worst case scenario. 

"That you're not going to be able to access certain websites that you want to access," he said. "That you're going to have to pay exorbitant amount of money to get that data that today is otherwise free."

Protests were held in Royal Oak outside of a Verizon store last week, proving that emotions are running high over the information superhighway. But again, right away you may not notice anything. 

"Probably nothing in the short term," Serbinski said. "We may start to see if you're using a lot of video, start to pay more or it may start to slow you down."

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