Despite dissenting remarks from FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel -- and an unscheduled recess ordered by security personnel -- the agency voted to repeal net neutrality rules by a margin of 3 to 2. The scrubbing of the Open Internet Order, passed in 2015, was spearheaded by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump administration appointee and former Verizon lawyer who’s made no secret of his plans to deregulate the telecoms industry.
Despite reassurances from telecoms industry officials, the demise of broad internet protections is likely to have severe implications for everyone who uses the web in their daily lives. Without net neutrality, ISPs such as Verizon and Comcast could give preferential treatment to certain websites that they conduct business with, creating “fast lanes” for their subscribers while stymying access for other consumers. In this sense, it’s conceivable that Netflix could provide a seamless experience for subscribers of a few internet providers, while throttling access for others.