Net neutrality vote tomorrow: The Internet could change as you know it

Repealing net neutrality will impact everyone

The internet as you now know it, could see some major changes. If it does, it will affect how we all use it, how often, and how much we pay for it. This is important and everyone needs to be aware. In a matter of hours, Washington lawmakers will decide whether to repeal net neutrality. That's a set of rules that force your broadband internet provider to treat all internet users and companies equally. Whether you stream videos, check email, shop online, or post to social media, you benefit from net neutrality.

Now, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon are just several internet companies pushing lawmakers to keep net neutrality on the books. They want to keep the internet superhighway open to everyone. But, broadband internet service providers, like Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner want the rules of the road gone. Lack of FCC rules puts the broadband internet providers back in charge, with no government oversight. That means companies can:

Manipulate internet speed

Broadband internet providers can slow down/quicken speed for certain companies (usually large companies that take up more highway space, like Netflix, Hulu, and some of your other favorite sites listed above). The companies would then have to pay more money for faster speed. Those charges are often shifted to consumers, who will find themselves paying higher fees for their service.

"People could potentially find themselves paying more for certain web services," says Dr. Clay Carey, Asst. Professor Journalism & Mass Media with Samford University.

Block content

They can block content they don't like, such as unfavorable political/news content or negative customer reviews.

Internet service providers argue loosening regulations will lead to more creativity and innovation. The net neutrality vote takes place tomorrow morning at 10:30 -- Eastern time. 9:30 Central.

Stay with ABC 33/40 as we monitor the results. Look for updates on-air and on our free app.

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