The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to officially publish net neutrality repeal today on its December order overturning the Obama-era net neutrality rules. And while the White House Office of Management and Budget still needs sign off on some aspects of the FCC reversal before it takes legal effect, America is bracing for a new era of the internet.
The net neutrality rules that passed in 2015 barred broadband companies from slowing down or blocking access to certain websites or services. It also prohibited internet companies from charging a fee to access customers more quickly.
Supporters of net neutrality say the rules are critical to making sure broadband companies don’t abuse their power as gatekeepers of the internet, while opponents say the rules were too cumbersome and stifled investment.
The growing debate over net neutrality has shown us one thing – there is no simple solution. The upcoming changes and basic principles underpinning net neutrality is a complex concept and questions remain as to how the repeal will affect internet users’ connectivity.
In a recent Harris Poll, we found that while over 9 in 10 Americans (92%) say the internet should be accessible to everyone, Americans are largely split on the basic principles of net neutrality; just over half (55%) say big companies should be able to pay for their content to load faster for certain users.