Despite repeated refusals by federal courts from allowing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from moving forward on "fast lanes" that give large corporations the opportunity to purchase faster Internet uploading and video streaming speeds, the FCC apparently is going forward with its plans. The agency attempted to rebut a number of reports that have said the fast lanes would hurt consumers and allow companies with the money to drive up prices.
If the FCC does follow through with its plans, the entire concept of net neutrality - meaning the government would not give added weight to companies who could pay - would be a historical moment that may affect the pricing of Internet usage. Experts say it would lead to user frustration and an increase in the number of paywalls on websites, eliminating what has been an open source institution for years.
But on April 25, the FCC fought back with a blog post attempting to outline what it is trying to do and allay fears among average citizens and industry experts who are fearing the worst.
"There has been a great deal of misinformation that has recently surfaced regarding the draft Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we will today circulate to the Commission," the FCC wrote.
In the post it argues that there are no plans to change the transparency of the Internet and "no unreasonable discrimination among users established."
It argues that there is a "roadmap" that was established by the court as to how to enforce rules to "protect an Open Internet and asks for further comments on the approach."
Comments have been pouring in, with the vast majority of experts believing that if the FCC moves on its idea of "fast lanes" the Internet as we know it today could come to an end, with users facing the brunt, financially, for the ending of net neutrality.
The FCC has repeatedly stated publicly that it has no plans of ending net neutrality and said it would maintain previous rulings.
The questions being raised in the current debate surround the notion of one unified Internet, as if it runs as a large corporation or partnership of companies. But this is not the case. Instead, there is no international law governing the Internet, although for years the United States has largely been the de facto governor of the Internet. This has led to concerns that the White House and other government agencies could do exactly what the FCC is planning by monetizing Internet services.
Overall, despite the FCC's attempt to downplay its course of action on net neutrality, it has left many believing they are attempting to create an Internet marketplace where only the highest bidders will be able to compete.