All of the financial and technical aspects of "net neutrality" are hard to explain, but here's the heart of the matter: we're all screwed.

Yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the plan to kill net neutrality and give control of the internet to service providers, such as AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and others.

This will enable those companies to literally control what websites you have access to. Internet providers will be able to split the internet into "slow" and "fast" lanes, and charge companies for access to higher speeds.

If a company like Netflix is forced to pay internet providers, that added cost will be thrust upon subscribers like us, who will end up paying higher fees.

Another possible issue is the internet turning into something more like cable, with "bundles" being offered with different website packages rather than television channel packages. Right now you can buy the basic cable package that includes network TV, you can get the sports package that will get you NFL Network & MLB Network & ESPNU, you can get the premium package that includes HBO & Showtime. Each of these packages costs more and more, and you always end up paying for a bunch of channels you never watch. The next step could be the same thing, but for internet websites. You'll be able to buy a basic package, but if you want access to premium sites, you'll end up paying more.

Keep in mind, "premium" isn't some euphemism for porn sites. A basic internet package could include Facebook & Twitter & YouTube, but you'd have to buy the next level up in order to access Instagram & Deadspin.

Lifehacker breaks the points down in a more in-depth (but still easy to read) way.

The FCC will vote on the proposal on December 14, and it’s expected to pass due to a 3-to-2 split favoring Republicans. The ACLU has a simple webform you can fill out. You can also call your Congressman with sites like this that will actually make the call for you, and provide you a small script so you know exactly what to say.

 

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