Expert explains why Central Ohio consumers should care about net neutrality

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The attempt to repeal net neutrality is triggering protests across the country, including here in Columbus.

Protesters said it’s an assault on a free and open internet. But, what does net neutrality actually mean?

Chair of computer and information sciences at Franklin University Todd Whittaker explains:

“Net neutrality is a principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally,” he said. “Net neutrality is a rule that’s been in place for quite some time under the FCC under President Obama. However, it’s up for review right now and they’re considering repealing net neutrality.”

Whittaker said net neutrality is something all consumers need to pay attention to.

“If net neutrality gets repealed then big internet service providers could charge extra money to organizations like Amazon or Netflix. If they don’t pay, then their traffic gets slowed down,” he said. “If they did this to say Netflix, you would see that your movie would stop and buffer more or it might drop from a really high resolution down to a low resolution.”

And, if they do pay Whittaker said the extra cost would most likely be passed onto the consumer.

“For a new start up who can’t afford to pay a really high bill to an internet service provider, it’s going to look like they’re service that they’re providing you is of substandard quality because they’re just getting a constricted pipe for that traffic,” he said. “From the perspective of entrepreneurship and driving innovation on the internet and being a world leader, I think this is a problem.”

Whittaker said you can make your voice heard by submitting a comment on the FCC’s website.

FCC commissioners will vote on whether to repeal net neutrality on December 14th.

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