Net Neutrality Might Make Netflix Way More Expensive And Here's Why

23 November 2017, 13:00

Netflix
Netflix. Picture: Press, Twitter

By James Wilson-Taylor

Here's why you really need to care about the FCC vote on December 14th.

Unless you have spent the last few weeks under a rock with poor 4G signal, you will have heard about the ongoing fight over Net Neutrality currently taking place in the US.

But what does it all mean? How will this decision effect you? And how will losing neutrality change the way you use Facebook, Netflix, YouTube and all that other good timewasting stuff?

Here's all you need to know:

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the rule that ensures we can all have free and open access to the internet. It prevents companies from being able to pick and choose what users can post online or which websites they can use.

What happens without Net Neutrality?

Internet Service Providers (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon etc) could begin to charge you even more based on what you do online.

For example, in Portugal they no longer have any Net Neutrality laws so if you want to use Facebook or streaming services like Netflix, you have to pay a higher subscription fee:

Providers could also block polictical opinions or any other content it doesn't like as well as alter speeds of different websites, killing off all commercial competition and destroying the open forum and debate that makes the internet great.

Who is trying to get rid of Net Neutrality?

Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, was appointed by Donald Trump as the new head of the Federal Communications Commission or FCC. He is currently attempting to push through a new system in the US that would abandon current regulations in favour of a 'voluntary' set of rules that no company will need to comply with. The FCC will vote on this proposal on December 14th.

What can you do to stop this?

Millions of people have signed online petitions to pressure the FCC into cancelling the vote and maintaining the existing regulations brought in under President Obama in 2015. You can sign your name here.

Many high profile figures have already urged their followers to show their support for Net Neutrality. Here are just a few we've spotted online so far:

What do you guys think about the issue of Net Neutrality? Let us know over in the Facebook comments.