Local business owner fears effects of net neutrality repeal - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local business owner fears effects of net neutrality repeal

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A local business owner is aggravated over the repeal of net neutrality, which means internet providers now have the ability to slow down particular websites, or speed up connections for customers willing to pay more.

Brian Black started VMC Chinese parts nearly three years ago with business growing quickly, "We sell parts for Chinese-manufactured ATVs, scooters, UTVs." 

Black says he's nervous the repeal of net neutrality could curb the flow of internet traffic to his website and hurt business.

"I don't like the idea that someone like Amazon could pay more money and have more access to my customers," Black said, "I think that I wouldn't get as much business and you know that translates into jobs and sales." 

Advocates argue the repeal of the Obama-era rules will promote faster internet and provide more competition. 

However James Mayer, who owns an IT company, agrees with Black. He believes the repeal of net neutrality is bad news for most consumers, "Internet service providers, at their whim, can do pretty much whatever they want to you." 

Mayer explains when it comes to businesses, it will have the biggest impact on large corporations like Amazon and Walmart. He says small business owners like Black, who sells 99% of his product online, could end up losing customers to these large corporations if they pay for a faster website. 

Black already has an issue with Amazon. Most of his competitors use the site as a third-party to sell products. 

Supporters of net neutrality are pushing state lawmakers to fight the repeal, but Mayer says this can not be done at the state level. He claims internet service goes across state lines and any changes must be made at the federal level.

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