6 Ways Your Life Will Change if Net Neutrality Goes Away
Net Neutrality has been in the news lately. I did a segment with with our local CBS affiliate recently and the FCC is set to vote on the rules concerning Net Neutrality on December 14th, but what is it? Well, Net Neutrality is the idea that all Internet users deserve equal and complete access to online information. Like television and radio, internet providers should be "neutral" to the content their customers access. Nothing good can happen if Net Neutrality goes away.
The debate for Net Neutrality has been going on for more than 20 years. The Internet has changed drastically in that time. Rather than the Internet being a collection of smaller companies and and websites. Mega Media companies like AT&T and Verizon have taken control of the Internet. Also, the FCC and their new chairman: Ajit Pa, have made it clear that they are not fans of the FCC Net Neutrality Rules put in place in 2015. So what can you expect?
1. Your Internet Speed Could Be Throttled. If a media company wants to stream a major concert or sporting event like the Super Bowl to all of it's customers, it may provide more speed to that event which will leave you with slower internet access. Also, they could slow down your Internet access to video streaming websites such Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, forcing you to use their streaming services instead.
2. Say Goodbye to Cheap Online Content. Netflix, by some estimates accounts for more than a third of Internet usage will find themselves with less customers because it will be more expensive to use their service. Your Internet company could decide to start charging companies like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime more money because of their high broadband needs. If that happens, they will have no choice to pass that cost on to you. Also, companies that have special relationships with ISPs will be given a free pass for their broadband needs which will create an imbalance.
3. Your favorite websites will be Tougher to find. Your ISP could replace your search results for Amazon, Netflix, and Google with knock offs of their own. there will be nothing that could prevent your ISP from making their own websites that rival the more popular sites to capitalize on getting your dollar
4. The Information You Share With Your ISP will no longer be private. Without Net Neutrality, your ISP could sell your personal data to third party venders who use that information to target advertising to you. Think you get a lot of advertising email now? Imagine if your information was for sale to the highest bidder?
5. It Could Be the End of Small Businesses on the Internet. Net Neutrality isn’t just important for individual users, it is also important for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. Without Net Neutrality, the next Google or Facebook would never get off the ground. Without Net Neutrality, my company Integral and many companies like mine would face an uphill battle developing and maintaining relationships with our customers.
6. You Won't Have an Unbaised Internet Experience. No one is truly neutral, but our ISPs should be. Without the FCC and Net Neutrality rules to stop them, ISPs could offer better access to some websites over others—maybe right-leaning or left-leaning sites over one another.
Here's the deal. Revoking net neutrality isn't going to stop you from emailing your family and friends, stop you from watching your favorite shows in the short term. But net neutrality is still something you should care about. Our lives are increasingly intertwined with the internet and it's likely that any rule affecting net neutrality will eventually affect how you use the internet.
What can you do? If you believe strongly in Net Neutrality, you can contact your congressional representative to urge the FCC not to pass these rules.
Net neutrality is definitely a polarizing political issue. Do you have any thoughts on the topic? Be sure to comment.
Thank you for reading. Please share this information with everyone.
Burton Kelso is a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org