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Net neutrality explained ahead of FCC vote - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Net neutrality explained ahead of FCC vote

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

A major debate is heating up in our nation's capitol about net neutrality ahead of a vote by the Federal Communications Commission next month to lift regulations.

This plan would lift rules that stop internet service providers from slowing some web traffic and create so-called paid internet fast lanes.

"If we don't have net neutrality, Amazon's able to talk to road people and say here's a lot of extra money, I just want to use the road," Morgan Shepherd, a UCCS professor of information systems said for example.

Shepherd says this is something that will work in favor of the bigger internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast.

"They'll become not a monopoly because we don't allow that but they'll get large enough to all of the sudden, they'll say oh, I used to give it to you for free, now you're going to have to pay me for it, where the small company didn't," he said.

Right now, with net neutrality, you pay one price for internet access.

With no net neutrality, your internet could be broken up into different price plans.

Meaning, you could end up paying more for things like video or social media.

"America's kind of been free enterprise for a long time, this kind of goes against that a little bit," Shepherd said. "It allows the bigger companies an advantage over some of the smaller companies."

But David Wainwright, Operations Manager of PCI Broadband, a locally owned provider in Colorado Springs, disagrees.

"We do not like this regulation, we didn't like this when it was put in place in 2015," Wainwright said. "We believe it was a burdensome regulation, especially on small companies like us, I don't have a team of lawyers, whenever they make a new regulation, I'm the one that has to figure out to report it to the government and it's not easy."

And he's in favor of fewer regulations

"We never feel the government is here to help, we just don't feel the government can make a regulation that can help us," he said.

Bottom line, for the average consumer, it means you could end up spending more.

"Initially, I might see better service but eventually I might see, boy, prices are going up," Shepherd said.

Given the republican majority on the FCC, the proposed rules are expected to pass at the next meeting on December 14th, but there is also pushback from consumer groups to try and convince the commission to hold the line on net neutrality.

News 5 will let you know what happens.

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