Robert Corl, Managing Editor

As of yesterday, December 14th, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) repealed the Obama-era Net Neutrality rules in a 3-2 party-line vote by board commissioners. Net Neutrality rules were first implemented with the idea to create an even playing field on the internet for all, regardless of user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. These rules prohibited major Internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or speeding up access to certain websites. Essentially, Net Neutrality prevented the creation of Internet gatekeepers.

Despite massive public and Congressional opposition to the removal of the rules, claiming it a violation of basic civil rights and the First Amendment, the commission still managed to pass the decision. Consequently, the FCC is now facing multiple state lawsuits against the ruling. Lawsuits of such magnitude may make their way to the Supreme Court for further review, should it be that controversial. These lawsuits could be the beginning to several major Supreme Court rulings over our Internet freedoms.

While the motivations for the removal of Net Neutrality rules is still somewhat clandestine, many suspect it as merely a move to allow major Internet service providers to profit. Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC and primary opposition to the rules, is supposedly being paid by the large corporations for the removal. However, no exact evidence can prove this connection as of now (although it is heavily suspected).

In the meantime, the public could expect increases in prices for certain provider packages, possible blocking of content, and slower speeds to other content. However, the ruling and lawsuits will first need time to work its way though the courts.

Despite being a blatant violation of basic human rights, the FCC, and especially Ajit Pai, has met public outrage with sarcasm and indifference. Right after the ruling, Ajit Pai released a video on YouTube sarcastically depicting the “7 thing you can still do without Net Neutralty.” In the video, he can be seen wearing a Santa costume and holding a fidget spinner and lightsaber mocking the opposition to the ruling. As ridiculous as it seems, this is actually true.

To see more information on the decision or the video of Ajit Pai, please upgrade to your providers premium package for $9.99 a month. Different rates may apply.