The FCC just voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality today, and if you’re looking for a great explainer on what that means and why it’s terrible, the AP has a solid explainer. The short answer is that net neutrality rules were put in place in 2015 to keep Internet service providers from favoring certain websites or apps, and charging higher prices or regulating speed in a tiered plan for others, thereby influencing which content had greater reach among users. The extremely short answer, to quote the AP, is that “net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally.” It keeps the really powerful companies like Verizon, Comcast, etc. from manipulating your online experience.
That’s gone now, and the man to thank is Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman who resorted to mocking protesters in recent days. But not everyone agrees with him—the vote went down party lines today, and FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn had some harsh words for her own organization just before the vote:
Here’s the key excerpt:
I know there are many questions on the mind of Americans right now, including what the repeal of net neutrality will mean for them. To help answer outstanding questions I will host a town hall through Twitter next Tuesday at 2pm EST. What saddens me is that the agency that is supposed to protect you is abandoning you, but what I am pleased to be able to say is the fight to save net neutrality does not end today. This agency does not have, the final word. Thank goodness.
You can read her full statement here. Let’s pray she’s right, and the fight to preserve net neutrality has not ended.