JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday on whether to keep or repeal the net neutrality rules that say whether companies such as Comcast, Verizon and many others can slow down or speed up internet traffic from specific websites or web-based apps.
It was a vote watched by tech companies and internet service providers alike. But how will it affect you now that the FCC abolished the rules of 2015?
Many of you may have heard the phrase, but not understood the issue; you're not alone.
"(It's) supposed to affect the way we search the internet. That's all I know," Karim Walker said.
What concerns Briana Combs? "My ability to get on the internet for free still, instead of paying money and being charged for it."
The FCC voted along party lines to repeal rules about internet service providers, or ISPs, prioritizing some online content over others.
"Net neutrality is your internet service provider being mandated by the government to not interfere with where you go in the net, with what services you consume, how fast you get them. It all has to be capped at the same level of service," local expert Christopher Hamer said.
Hamer noted the controversy, as some of the commissioners said the rule protects consumers, and others said it restricts expansion and innovation in the industry.
Hamer argued both sides of the topic, saying it's unclear if the rule really did anything and if abandoning it will really hurt your pocketbook.
With the rule, Hamer said the ISPs can't interfere.
"Which everybody wants to hear, we don't need more people interfering," Hamer said. "But they didn't before this came into effect, and when they did, they got yelled at."
Hamer said before net neutrality emerged in 2015, the internet did plenty of advancing and innovating. He also believes it would not be in the ISPs' best interests to try to charge more for streaming services or other high-end internet options customers already enjoy at the same price.