ST. PETERSBURG — The issue of Net Neutrality all centers around the Republican-controlled FCC.
That's the Federal Communications Commission.
Right now it has rules in place for your internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Spectrum, anyone you get internet from.
Today those internet providers have to treat Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WTSP.com, your personal blog, Apple music, everything on the web, the same.
They can't ask Apple to pay more to stream your music or movies faster. Same for Facebook and Netflix.
If you write something critical of AT&T, Verizon, or just something those companies don't like on your blog, they can't block your speech. They legally can't stop your website from loading.
If this new plan passes - and it looks like it will - those protections will go away.
Mega companies like Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum, any internet provider will be able to charge more to fast-track some content and penalize others at their own whims.
They'll be able to pick the websites, the speech, the streaming services they like, make those fast, and slow down or block competing ones.
So if the Republican-controlled FCC removes net neutrality, your favorite website could be stuck loading.
Take it from an internet expert:
“You're going to start to see more paid content including services. For instance, if you want to have a Facebook or want to access certain types of websites or certain types of apps, you might have to start paying for those,” said USF telecom professor Justin Brown. “That's a very different experience for the average internet consumer.”
Are you ready to pay to look at your Facebook page, your Tweets, your Instagram?
It could be coming your way.
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