What Does the 'Net Neutrality' Decision Mean for You? - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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What Does the 'Net Neutrality' Decision Mean for You?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    How the Net Neutrality Decision Could Affect Consumers

    The FCC voted Thursday to repeal restrictions put in place by the Obama administration on how internet service providers manage the internet. (Published Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017)

    The FCC voted Thursday to repeal restrictions put in place by the Obama administration on how internet service providers manage the internet.

    Most consumers get their internet from a cable television provider or phone provider, and to look at what those companies could do to the internet without the regulations, let's look at how they handle TV service.

    Right now, TV providers sell you packages.

    If you want to watch Bravo! or MSNBC, you have to purchase a specific bundle to get those channels and you pay extra for that.

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    Some groups worry the FCC vote will allow companies to charge you in a similar fashion to surf the web.

    The fear is you might have to pay extra to visit something simple like youtube.com or cough up more money if you choose to watch shows on streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

    Suku Nair, professor of virtualization at Southern Methodist University, says those concerns are legitimate but that there are benefits, too.

    He says there's incentive for investment in faster, better internet service and says we will likely see new competition and new internet offerings.

    Internet providers like Spectrum, AT&T, COX, and NBC's parent company, Comcast, would have the ability to build fast and slow lanes on the internet.

    Lobbyists for the internet service providers say the fears about the internet becoming more like cable TV are unfounded.

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    "Consumers care that their content isn't blocked, their content isn't throttled. Those principles existed before the current rules and they're gonna exist after," said Jonathan Spalter, of US Telecom, which represents telecommunications-related businesses.

    While the companies say it won't happen, Thursday's repeal does mean there is nothing to stop it.

    Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns this television station.

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