ST. PETERSBURG — Just this afternoon, the FCC took the first steps to dismantle what's known as "net neutrality."
But what does that phrase really mean?
The words "net neutrality" are a little ambiguous so here's what they mean.
Right now, broadband providers like Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum and all the rest have to treat everything on the internet equally.
They have to allow you to access Netflix, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, any website or content online with the same speed and quality.
Take net neutrality protections away -- and internet providers can start slowing speeds --- they can force websites like Netflix to pay them for better quality and access.
Think that's gonna save you money on your subscription if Netflix has to pay more to be on the internet?
Broadband providers say they love Net Neutrality, but that's simply not true.
Comcast already asked for more money from Netflix. When Netflix paid their speeds shot up 65 percent.
And Verizon blocked messages from a pro-choice group -- picking and choosing what speech went over their networks.
They already want to pick and choose.
Internet providers say the regulations are too burdensome. That they choke improvements.
There's not a lot of evidence of that.
Now, whether you think it's good or bad to overturn existing open internet rules - you have three months to have your voice heard before new rules to govern the internet are adopted.
Here's a link to the FCC comment page. Click "new filing" on the left hand side. This is for you to say, "I want you to keep existing net neutrality rules," or "I endorse you rolling back existing net neutrality rules."
Either way it's your right and your internet, so let them know.
© 2017 WTSP-TV