Net neutrality and Donald Trump may be the next battle that the American people will see running through the news. That’s because Trump just named Ajit Pai, a known enemy to the net neutrality policy the FCC currently holds, to chair the FCC during his administration.
Although net neutrality has mostly been a battle that liberals have squared off with against conservative lawmakers and lobbyists, there have also been some conservative voices in favor of the current FCC policy in regards to fair use of the internet.
But for the most part, net neutrality has been a major social issue that liberals have fought to preserve to avoid the costly burden of essentially censoring internet activity for those who cannot afford to access certain sites if the policy were to be terminated by the incoming administration.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) January 23, 2017
According to a report on Vox, net neutrality is about to see its biggest foe, Ajit Pai, take the FCC helm and quite possibly, systematically dismantle the policy. This would also allow internet service providers to charge for usage over a certain data cap and for using websites that require a heavy bandwidth like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Vudu.
For those who like to stream their favorite shows, or have cut the cable cord, those same cable companies may force you to come back under their umbrellas with exorbitant fees and charges based on internet usage.
Here is the next thing that might be somewhat disturbing to those in favor of the net neutrality policy by the FCC. Although in most cases like these, Donald Trump would need Senate approval to make a move like this with Ajit Pai. But in this particular case, Trump can bypass the Senate and do it by himself.
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) January 23, 2017
There is a reason for that. Ajit Pai is a current member of the FCC and since he already has a presence there as a member, Donald Trump can appoint him as chair of the FCC without Senate testimony or approval.
Net neutrality is something that advocates say is essential to growth in the internet technology sector. They also say that it essentially gives small startups on the internet the ability to compete with some of the larger companies who have much more money to throw at their customers.
If Ajit Pai were to make net neutrality simply go away, then startups would have a much harder time getting their content carried by major internet service providers, likely having to pay a fee to enter the ISP’s network and be made available on their infrastructure.
Trump’s new FCC chief is Ajit Pai, he wants to destroy net neutrality
Get ready to organize. Get ready to fight.https://t.co/gHTDLnCSn8
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) January 23, 2017
The current net neutrality is also something that big companies have also favored in the past as well. There has been a real worry within the internet business market that the elimination of net neutrality would essentially allow ISP’s to charge these companies to give their subscribers access to their content. Netflix, Google, and Wikipedia have been very critical of those who would do away with net neutrality policies at the FCC, claiming that it would only benefit a small market of companies and cause a burden on others as well as the American people.
Wikipedia also got in on the SOPA bills that would essentially force net neutrality out the window should it have passed. During the one-day protests, Wikipedia only featured a message on their landing page showing their users what the world would look like if censorship would not allow them to access the information they sought.
There is every indication through his past rhetoric and vocal objections to net neutrality that Ajit Pai will be leading the charge to do away with net neutrality laws and steer the FCC away from the policies that have kept the internet open to everyone.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]