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Internet to be potentially reclassified as a utility

With all of the uncertainty surrounding the future of net neutrality, America’s most powerful people are finally speaking up about the issue.            

Recently, President Barack Obama stated that he would like to see the FCC reclassify the Internet as a utility, citing how instrumental it is in peoples’ lives.

In order to do this, the FCC would need to choose to reclassify Internet as a utility title II. Many people believe that title II is one of the only ways that true net neutrality can be saved. Under a title II reclassification, all Internet service providers would be considered common carriers of a service.

For example, an electric company is a common carrier of the utility electricity. As long as a customer has paid their bill, the quality of the electricity provided to them by the company will remain constant. With Internet as a utility, all Internet service providers would need to act similarly. The main issue with compromising net neutrality is that Internet service providers can limit the information you have access to. They can slow down the speeds of websites and generally censor whatever they choose to. If Internet is a utility, Internet service providers will lose this power.  All websites will be treated the same and Americans’ access to the Internet cannot be limited.

While it is unclear exactly how these next few months will unfold for the FCC, it should be encouraging to Americans that people in powerful positions are recognizing the potential threats to net neutrality. Large reform may be unlikely, but it is definitely possible that the Internet is altered slightly in the near future.