On Thursday, Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality in a 3-2 vote. Net neutrality prevents internet service providers from slowing down, speeding up, or blocking sites or applications.
Net neutrality has always been somewhat in place; it was something of a set of unspoken rules between citizens and internet service providers that no one dared to break. However, it was only legally enforced by Obama in 2015. This causes many to believe nothing will change if net neutrality is lost, but the people of America have not yet experienced internet without this new law yet. Without net neutrality, providers like AT&T, Spectrum, and Verizon could potentially block websites they find offensive, slow down sites based on donations from competing sites, or slow down one’s applications and internet until they pay a certain price.
Without net neutrality, the internet as it is known today will be gone. The FCC, led by Ajit Pai, voted to repeal it. However, their vote is not final; congress can nullify net neutrality.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer explained in a press conference his plans to stop the repeal of net neutrality by using the Congressional Review Act (CRA). According to the CRA, a decision of an agency can be reversed through a petition of 30 Senators. Once the bill passes through the Senate, it must also pass through the House of Representatives and then be signed by the President. In short, it is looking as though the Republicans have the upper hand, seeing as Democrats lack a majority in both houses.