It may have been the turning point for online business; others say it’s not that big a deal.
In a 3-2 vote along party lines, the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to overturn net neutrality protections instituted during the Obama administration. The rollback of protections has been hailed by some as welcome deregulation; others see a dangerous opportunity for internet providers to skew the online playing field.
Many consumer advocates have argued that if the rules get scrapped, broadband providers will begin selling the internet in bundles, not unlike how cable television is sold today. Want to access Facebook and Twitter? Under a bundling system, getting on those sites could require paying for a premium social media package.
In some countries, internet bundling is already happening. In October, Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, posted a screenshot on Twitter from a Portuguese mobile carrier that showed subscription plans with names like Social, Messaging and Video. He wrote that providers were “starting to split the net.”