Net neutrality remains on the chopping block.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), along with the US Congress, is considering reversing rules on how American Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide Internet access to customers.
Currently, Americans enjoy basic protections on Internet use and access. Known as net neutrality, these regulations allow everyone to visit any website with equal access and at equal speeds. Under net neutrality, users’ browsing data is protected and cannot be used for marketing or other purposes.
If the FCC votes to end net neutrality, ISPs could be free to act in the best interest of profit rather than open access to the Internet. Without the current regulations, it could be legal for ISPs to set fees based on which websites customers visit, limit access to certain content, slow down or charge more for access to streaming and other high-bandwidth content, and sell customer browsing data to others.
Public Opinion on Net Neutrality
During the open comment period about net neutrality on the FCC website, nearly 22 million people expressed their opinion about the current policies.
Yet American awareness on net neutrality is still low. A recent PSB Pulse Poll commissioned by Namecheap indicated that over half of Americans are not very familiar with the concept of net neutrality.
More than 80% of Americans expect their Internet use will be impacted by a reversal of Net Neutrality rules. They imagine life without Net Neutrality will come with additional costs, limited access, and less privacy. Meanwhile, the majority of respondents (74%) thought ISPs would benefit by a rollback of the rules rather than helping people like themselves.
It’s interesting to note that opinions on this issue did not split along party lines, with Republicans only slightly more likely to say costs would remain the same.
And on questions dealing with Internet access, over half of the people polled said it would negatively impact them if website speed, cost of access, or privacy issues were involved.
Namecheap Continues to Support Net Neutrality
In July, Namecheap joined the Day of Action organized by Fight for the Future to call attention to the possible loss of Net Neutrality. We joined hundreds of other companies and organizations including Amazon, Netflix, Reddit, GitHub, and Etsy, to stand for a free and open internet.
Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall shared his views on Net Neutrality. He’s concerned about the possible end to the regulations that protect consumers. As he noted:
In my perfect world, the internet would be free, with zero intervention in any form by governments or corporations, but that is not the reality of the situation we face now.
For more information on net neutrality, please visit netneutrality.com.