Can you trust your Internet provider? You probably have Comcast, Verizon, or AT&T providing Internet service at home. Well, when the topic of net neutrality came up last year, there was one concern: Without rules and regulations, can we trust Internet providers to give consumers and businesses fair rates? You see, there are rules and regulations for the providers of many essential services, such as power and water. As the use of Internet became more and more popular (can you imagine life without the Internet?), the FTC (or Federal Trade Commission) decided to impose regulations to make sure providers can’t charge too much or prioritize certain websites and services. The basic message was: keep things fair.
Under the Trump administration, these rules were repealed, which means Internet providers are now able to provide their service without as many restrictions. This repeal went into effect on June 11th. On one side, consumers and Internet advocates think this is a bad move because without regulations, providers might take advantage of consumers and businesses. On the other side, the FTC believes rolling back the rules can help Internet providers provide more innovative services.
So what is everyone doing about it? Some states like Washington, Montana, and New York are reinstating (or putting them back) the regulations. California is trying to advance a bill that aims to provide equal Internet access for everyone.
We will continue tracking this story of Internet access across the country. Did you have a question about the world of Internet access? Send it to us and we will try our best to get it answered by experts!