Nov. 21, 2017
- The Federal Communications Commission is planning to ditch net neutrality, which requires internet providers to treat all data online equally.
- A Portuguese internet provider shows what the American internet could look like if net neutrality is scrapped.
- One company charges people more for additional data based on the kind of app they want to use, such as those for messaging or for video.
On Tuesday, the US Federal Communications Commission announced that it planned to vote on an order to roll back Obama-era rules governing net neutrality.
Simply put, net neutrality means that all data on the internet is treated equally. An internet service provider can’t prioritize certain companies or types of data, charge users more to access certain websites and apps, or charge businesses for preferential access.
Advocates of net neutrality argue that it ensures a level playing field for everyone on the internet. Telecoms firms, however, are largely against it because of the additional restrictions it places on them.
But with the Republican-majority FCC likely to vote on December 14 in favor of rolling back the order, what might the American internet look like without net neutrality? Just look at Portugal.
Really into messaging? Then pay €4.99 ($5.86 or £4.43) a month and get more data for apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime. Prefer social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, and so on? That’ll be another €4.99 a month.