‘It’s like a slow poison’: Net neutrality rollback concerns local experts


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Repeals to roll back net neutrality regulations took effect on Monday.

In December, the Federal Communications Commission voted to get rid of the rules put in place under 
former President Barack Obama.

Under past rules, internet service providers were prevented from blocking lawful websites, changing internet speeds or creating internet “fast lanes or slow lanes.”

Local experts say they expect to see changes but not right away.

“It’s like a slow poison,” said Dr. Deepak Tosh, who works in the Cybersecurity Department at Norfolk State University.

Tosh says that net neutrality means that all users get equal access to internet content.

He’s worried that ISPs will create these internet fast lanes, where they allow certain companies quicker access, which would hurt small businesses.

“It’s kind of like rich gets richer. All the big fat companies become fatter and fatter. However, the small organizations will have less opportunities to grow,” he said.

Tosh says that websites and certain pages could also get censored.

“That’s not the principle behind the internet design,” he said.

Tidewater Community College IT professor Gary Noah believes that we could eventually pay more for streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon, because they’re competition against ISPs, which provide the same services.

“If they start getting charged more, I’m going to get charged more,” Noah said.

Some members of Congress are trying to pass legislation that would overturn the FCC’s decision.

22 states, including Virginia, are suing the commission to repeal.

That case is set to be heard in the next few months.

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