As most already know, the FCC voted successfully to repeal net neutrality, but what exactly does this mean?
We need only to look at countries that already lack net neutrality laws to see what America’s internet may look like in the very near future. Allow me to be the first to tell you, it looks grim.
Let’s take a look at Portugal. Meo is a national wireless provider that sells data to the country’s smartphone users. Meo charges you a monthly plan for its service as expected for any product, and just like our service here in the United States, if you go over your limits you have to buy more data. The country differs in one major way. You have to pay extra to unlock certain apps and social media services.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr and Pinterest is the social media package. If you pay 4.99 extra per month you are free to use those websites as much as you want. If you prefer to call over a voice chat instead of typical social media texting then you will need to pay another 4.99 to unlock Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facetime. Want to have unlimited access to your email? That will be another 4.99. If you have a subscription to netflix, you will need to pay an additional 4.99 or else be hit with overage charges when you inevitably cross over your data limits. Portugal calls this “Zero-Rating.”
Now that you understand exactly what America’s future internet may look like, allow me to give you some reassuring news. Mozilla, the company behind popular internet browser firefox, has reopened a lawsuit against the FCC. Mozilla claims that the FCCs vote is unconstitutional and have vowed to not stop fighting no matter how many times the FCC denies them.
Mozilla urges people who agree that the internet should be an open lane for all to travel where they please to do what they can to help as well. Mozilla has set up a page with all the information needed to contact your representatives and tell them how you feel about the FCC’s vote.