Consumer Alert: What the net neutrality repeal means

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The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality laws earlier this year – a repeal that went into effect this week.

But what does the repeal of net neutrality laws mean for the general consumer?

News 12’s Walt Kane says that the internet won’t slow down overnight. But experts say that the repeal means that the online experience is expected to change.

“It can go in no other direction but to make it harder to get a hold of information,” says professor Richard Howard with the Wireless Information Network Laboratory at Rutgers University.

Howard says, “It will be slow, but the attention spans are such that people get incensed about it, then nothing happens for a while, and you find out that if you look back at it from five years in the future, a lot has changed.”

The repeal makes it possible for a cellphone company that owns or makes deals with news and information websites to charge its competitors more or even slow down the service.

The company can also make it so that their preferred services do not count toward data limits. It could mean that their services would be cheaper and more people would be getting their information from that site.

Other experts say that they predict that home internet may eventually even have data limits.

But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says that these concerns are unnecessary.

“Every internet service provider must clearly disclose its network policies upfront to consumers, who can determine whether those practices meet their need,” he says.

Some states are fighting back against the FCC and the repeal. The governors or New York and New Jersey have signed executive orders preserving net neutrality rules in their respective states.

Whether states can overrule the federal government remains to be seen.

Editor’s Note: News 12's parent company, Altice USA, offers internet service, which means it had been covered by net neutrality rules.

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