WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2, to repeal the Net Neutrality policy Thursday, sparking nationwide debate.
The policy has come under much scrutiny as to how it will affect customers of internet service providers.
“It’s a regulatory principle that says all information on the internet is treated the same,” said Bill Maynard, information technology technician with the Gallia County Courthouse.
According to Maynard, the repeal of Net Neutrality will enable different ISP’s to be able to charge according to what kind of information is being accessed.
Net Neutrality was instituted by the FCC in 2015 as a rule, and upheld the idea of an open internet service.
“The main aim was to make it so that different internet companies couldn’t piece it out,” said Maynard.
While the FCC made a decision to repeal the policy, it will remain in court and is still subject to congressional oversight, if those committees choose to act in favor of Net Neutrality.
“I don’t think this is going to be the apocalypse that everyone thinks it will be,” said Maynard. “This is going to be tied up in courts for a while. I know that Congress has to go throw some voting stuff before (it takes place).”
Maynard explained that this was not the first time the FCC has attempted to repeal Net Neutrality, that legislators overturned the decision last time a repeal was attempted.
“Ajit Pai (director of the FCC) believes that the big thing is ISP’s are now completely open to make their technology better,” said Maynard. “They believe that Net Neutrality is holding them back. That’s why you can’t get decent internet out in the middle of nowhere.”
Maynard expects that any effects of the FCC decision will be down the road as the federal government is slow to move and the social backlash to this decision.
Currently internet access is available free through Bossard Memorial Library, which provides wifi hotspots to go as well as access through computers. The future of internet availability through public resources like libraries could also be affected by the repeal of Net Neutrality.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342.