FCC plans vote on Net Neutrality repeal - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

FCC plans vote on Net Neutrality repeal

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WSIL -- There could be major changes on the horizon regarding how you use the internet.

The FCC plans to vote Dec. 14 on "Net Neutrality," specifically regulations that prevent internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to certain websites or services.

Net Neutrality is a concept guaranteeing all internet traffic is treated the same. SIU senior lecturer Jim Wall says the concept dates back decades and the Obama administration bolstered it in 2015.

The former president's regulations stop internet service providers from blocking certain apps, slowing down speeds to certain websites, or making companies pay to have faster service to their sites.

Wall said the goal is to have an open internet.

"Enabling you and I to choose where we go. Freedom of choice, freedom of expression and user control," Wall said. "Open competition without any sort of interference."

The larger battle is whether or not the internet is a public utility, like your water service.

Ceci Perry Uban, co-owner of 4 Southern Illinois Wireless Internet in Marion said current rules treat it like a utility.

"Which means you have to treat your internet service as a priority," Perry Uban said. "You have to take care of your customer."

Perry Uban wants Net Neutrality to stand.

She said the bigger companies like AT&T and Comcast are seeing a decline in their TV sales because of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, so they want a bigger piece of the pie.

"You're going to see the big cable companies, you're going to see Frontier, you're going to see all the big business charge the consumer money because all of these priority channels are going to cost somebody," Perry Uban said.

Wall expects the FCC to vote along party lines: Three Republican commissioners in favor of the repeal and two Democrats against it.

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