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FCC to vote on net neutrality proposal Thursday morning

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH ) – The Federal Communications Commission is poised to vote on a new set of rules for the internet.

Net neutrality is a concept that your internet provider should be an open gateway to everything on the internet, not a gatekeeper deciding which sites load slowly or quickly depending on fees charged to those sites.

For instance, AT&T couldn’t block FaceTime and Verizon couldn’t slow down Google Wallet, if passed.

Supporters of net neutrality include big sites like Amazon, Netflix, Google and Facebook, who joined activists within the last year to keep the internet open to all users and all websites.

Those against net neutrality say the rules are another way the government is butting into business. Opponents mostly include the internet providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.

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Those companies prefer the two-tier system, because it’s a way to force financial agreements with big sites like Netflix to pay more for a fast lane to users. But those costs could be passed down to you.

The FCC has tried to implement similar rules in the past in an open internet agreement back in 2011, but that was overturned after Verizon sued.

The reason it may work this time is the proposed changes include a reclassification of internet providers as a utility. Some worry that could lead to taxes on internet use, but the FCC has quieted that by saying they are going to modernize the classification so that won’t happen.

The FCC will take up the issue today at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. You can watch the meeting and vote live online on the FCC website. The decision won’t be official for months, but if passed AT&T has already said it will challenge the decision.

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