This seems like an unimaginable concept to most Americans. If you pay for the Internet, why wouldn’t you have access to all of it?
But due to the actions of some corporations and Trump administration officials, net neutrality’s days are numbered in the United States. Instead of being seen as a public utility with the accompanying protections, they want it redefined as a product.
In 2014-2015, President Barack Obama’s administration voiced strong support for net neutrality rules, and in 2015, many were implemented. But in April President Donald Trump’s newly appointed FCC Chairman Pai proposed gutting the rules and asked for public reaction. Then in May, the gradual rollback of the Obama protections began.
Despite at least 22 million Americans voicing protest to policy changes, Pai intends to rule in favor of his former employers and other internet providers against the American people.
Today, I’m proposing to repeal the heavy-handed Internet regulations imposed by the Obama Administration and to return to the light-touch framework under which the Internet developed and thrived before 2015. In @WSJopinion: https://t.co/uDIiKr6YHF
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) November 21, 2017
Generally, those supporting rollbacks are major companies that profit from them. Those advocating neutrality include human rights organizations, consumer advocates, and most of the public, about 77% of Americans.
The FCC will soon vote to kill #NetNeutrality. Control access to info, control the people. And these corporations already control TV + radio. Think about your frustration at how brainwashed your friends are. IT WILL BE EVEN WORSE.
— Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) November 14, 2017
Once again, the Trump administration sides with big money and against democracy. If this passes, the internet and its free exchange of information as we have come to know it will cease to exist. #NetNeutrality https://t.co/1oKLkWOpYn
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 21, 2017
The FCC's plan to dismantle #NetNeutrality rules is a blow to pretty much anyone who uses the Internet – and I know you do because you’re looking at this tweet. Consumers and entrepreneurs alike need a free, open and competitive Internet.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) November 22, 2017
If Pai’s plans continue, then companies or individuals able to pay more will get freer, faster, more inclusive internet service. This could further divide socioeconomic classes in America, with one class rich in money and information while the other remains poor in both. And knowledge is power.