MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Life without net neutrality hard to imagine in Seattle

Dec 12, 2017, 12:26 PM

Net Neutrality...

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

It will begin with services such as Netflix. People will see the price of streaming services increase if the FCC ditches the country’s net neutrality rules.

More ads will appear on Google and Facebook as companies try to offset additional costs imposed upon them by cable companies.

RELATED: Protests target Verizon stores across Washington over FCC action

Cable bills will increase and everything on it could be priced separately.

That’s according to Tim Wu, the man who coined the phrase “network neutrality.”

“I would predict, as in all things, the consumer would pay more,” he told Seattle’s Morning News.

The FCC may vote to overturn 2015 rules that prohibit internet service providers from having more control over content. People opposed to the change worry service providers will throttle some content — or perhaps block it altogether.

The FCC’s agenda for Dec. 14 states:

The Commission will consider a Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order that will restore Internet Freedom by returning broadband Internet access service to its prior classification as an information service, and reinstate the private mobile service classification of mobile broadband Internet access service. The item also will eliminate the Commission’s vague and expansive Internet Conduct Standard, along with the bright-line rules. Additionally, it will modify the transparency rule to promote additional transparency, while eliminating burdensome and unnecessary requirements.

If rules established in 2015 are overturned, Wu says it may come down to individual states or even cities to enact their own net neutrality regulations.

Wu says it would be tough to imagine cities such as Seattle without net neutrality rules. He says there could be a ballot initiative to restore net neutrality — and more than 50 percent approval would be likely. Of course, a lawsuit challenging such an initiative would be possible.

But, just like the citywide income tax, Seattle has proven that it isn’t afraid to fight for what it wants.

Listen to the entire interview with Wu here.

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Life without net neutrality hard to imagine in Seattle