If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, or even in the past several years, you might have heard about something called Net Neutrality. You also may have learned that Net Neutrality could be going away in the near future, which has upset a lot of people. It’s kind of a vague term, so if you’ve ever wondered what it’s all about and how it affects you, here’s a quick guide.

So what is it?

Basically, Net Neutrality means that Internet providers (like Comcast or CenturyLink) treat all web traffic equally. Whether you’re watching a show on Netflix, checking Facebook, playing music and rocking out 24/7 with the sweet new Z-Rock 107.7 app, or Googling pictures of cats wearing pajamas (you weirdo), each individual website will load at the same speed as all the others. That’s pretty ideal, no?

Why is it going away?

In the very near future, the FCC is expected to vote on repealing some rules that many say will have a negative effect on Net Neutrality. Your Internet provider wouldn’t be required to inform you if they end up making some websites slower than others – or even blocking some websites entirely. For example, if your video quality on Netflix is suddenly poor, it could be because your Internet provider prefers that you use Hulu instead. But if you want Netflix to run at the same speed as Hulu, your Internet provider would be glad to let you pay them even more money to make that happen!

That’s…kind of awful, isn’t it?

Full disclosure: This is where I’m injecting my own personal opinion, but yes, yes it is. If you use the Internet, Net Neutrality affects you. Think about all the websites you visit on a regular basis. All of them. You will be affected by this.

But what is the opposing viewpoint arguing?

The head of the FCC claims it will lead to more “innovation” or something, but come on. I’m totally not buying that. This will give cable companies and Internet services providers even more power over you. Our lives will undoubtedly be worse off for this.

Has this happened in other countries?

Does that seem convenient in any way to you? SO MUCH INNOVATION!

What can Minnesotans do?

You can contact our state representatives and voice your opinion. I’m sadly not hopeful that this will do anything, but it’s something. You can also just go full Amish and stop using the Internet. You can also go here to give the FCC a piece of your mind. Not a lot of great options here. But you should at least be aware of how this will impact your life.

Hopefully something will be done to protect Net Neutrality, because I have so much stuff left on my Netflix queue.

Source: Uproxx

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