GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The internet you know and use on a daily basis could very well change on December 14th with the potential repeal of Title 2 in the Communication's Act, also known as Net Neutrality.
The internet has vastly expanded and evolved over the 26 years it's been available to the public, starting back in 1991.
And now, this coming December 14th, the FCC may vote to repeal Net Neutrality which many small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startup companies say could make it more difficult to retain their online presence.
Eric Metzner, Owner of No Ware Computer Repair in Grand Junction, explains the impacts of repealing Net Neutrality for small business owners using coffee shops as an analogy.
"Just think of coffee shops, Grand Junction has a few dozen small coffee shops, there's a new one opening up almost every month. If Net Neutrality were repealed, these small coffee shops would lose their ability to be found the internet properly. Now, they would still come up in search, however, big companies like Starbucks would naturally pay the ISP to have their search results come up a little bit higher and their website load a lot faster. So, it pretty much snuffs out smaller businesses, it snuffs out entrepreneurs. Losing Net Neutrality would be a huge hit to small businesses", says Metzner.
But Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, believes otherwise.
"Regulations we've found are impeding investments. It would mean better, faster, and cheaper internet access", says Pai.
"Basically, one of the things we'd fear that if Net Neutrality were to be repealed would be that the internet would almost become like a cable subscription model where you would have tiered plans. Tier 1 would be like 'hey, your basic internet', but if you want basic internet plus social media, sites like Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Imgur, Instagram, that's gonna be an extra $9.99 a month", says Metzner.
Internet service providers say this shift would help expand broadband across the nation while many small business owners feel they're being taken advantage of.
"So, if you add all this together, your subscription could easily come from $19.99 a month up to something outrageous like $100 dollars a month just to access the same sites you're already accessing just for that one low cost", says Metzner.
If you're against the repeal of Net Neutrality, contact your federal representatives and the FCC to voice your concerns before the December 14th deadline.
FCC: 1 (888) 225-5322
Petition Link: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/do-not-repeal-net-neutrality