Does your internet provider support a free and open internet?
By Paige Leskin
Net neutrality nears a step closer to its death each day as the Federal Communications Commission's December 14 vote nears without any barriers in sight. The repeal of these Obama-era internet protections would signal the end of a free and open internet, and the imminent rise of major internet providers that can control access and speed as they see fit, unless Congress steps in.
One of the major issues lies in the monopoly that the top internet service providers have on access.
Four corporations - Comcast, Charter, AT&T, and Verizon - account for about 76 percent of the 94.5 million internet subscribers in the United States, as of 2017's third fiscal quarter, according to a report from the Leichtman Research Group. While conservatives say net neutrality is an unnecessary regulation, these ISPs will be able to force companies to pay for speed, shape internet access, and block websites as they see fit. The FCC's move would also take away a slew of consumer protections that let them dispute unfair prices and maintain privacy.