Internet providers could charge you extra now that US regulators have scrapped net neutrality
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On Thursday, US regulators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted three to two to disassemble existing "net neutrality" rules. This means that internet service providers can charge websites more for delivering certain services, or blocking others if they happen to compete with services that the cable company also offers. This will affect startups who might not be able to afford the server fee. There are fears that the move could open the door for ISPs to dictate what people use the internet for. The campaign page 'Battle for the Net' was set up to show what the internet will look like if internet providers 'control what we can see and do online with new fees, throttling and censorship.' Images on their page show how the provider can ask you to upgrade your plan in order to access certain websites or block them altogether. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the decision would eventually help consumers because broadband providers could offer people a wider range of service options. 'We are helping consumers and promoting competition,' he said 'broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.' FCC commissioner commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel called the move 'corrupt' and that 'as a result of today's misguided actions, our broadband providers will get extraordinary new powers.' Net neutrality advocates argue that an open internet has been fundamental the creation of the web, removing the rules will stifle online innovations and set a dangerous precedent for other countries looking to take firmer control of the internet. Evan Greer, campaign director for internet activists Fight for the Future, said: 'So many of the best ideas will be lost, squashed by the largest corporations at the expense of the global internet-using public.' Passing the vote is a major victory for Pai, a Donald Trump appointee and long-term critic of net neutrality rules. Cable companies have said they remain committed to an open internet. Pai has made a series of changes in his 11-month tenure including cutting a high-speed internet scheme for low-incomes families.
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