Net Neutrality is a policy that says that internet service providers, or ISPs, can’t discriminate against certain types of web traffic. Proponents of this policy say that its repeal will lead to ISPs slowing down or even blocking certain websites completely. Major internet companies such as Google and Apple have spoken out against its repeal and continue to lobby Congress. Some believe that the ability to slow down or completely stop internet traffic will lead to a tiered internet where consumers must pay for packages of websites.
Opponents of Net Neutrality say that it over regulates the internet and hampers innovation. The most notable being the chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, he points out that it was only recently put into place in 2015 during the Obama Administration and that the internet was fine before it was implemented.
But how could this drastic change in policy affect the average person? The short answer is that no one knows for sure what is to come. Consumers could very well see their favorite websites slowed down or even blocked. Many regions of the country only have access to a few ISPs and the lack of competition could mean that they abuse their power.
On the other hand, consumers could see potential benefits from the repeal. If a large service provider like Comcast could charge Netflix more since it uses a lot of bandwidth, the average person could see a price reduction in their internet service plan.
No one is for certain what comes next for the internet. Some states are suing the FCC over the repeal and the future of Net Neutrality may lie in the court system. None of these outcomes are guaranteed though, and the impacts of any policy change may not be felt for years to come.