CHICAGO (CBS) — A key vote by the FCC will likely change the way you use your favorite websites.
The government agency just repealed net neutrality. It’s a rule started during the Obama years.
Net neutrality forced internet providers to treat all websites the same.
Preventing them from charging sites to make them load faster on your device.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole explains, some small businesses worry they’ll be squeezed out by larger companies.
Dan Creviston puts it bluntly. “If you don’t have a level playing on the internet to reach your customers, it’s just not fair.”
Here’s a snapshot of how the wedding photography firm George Street grew to employ 50 people with clients nationwide.
“We had videos, we had photos, we had things all in different data centers across the United States,” says Creviston.
That need gave rise to Creviston’s next company CloudRanger, which now helps 250 companies store and back up massive files in the cloud.
Creviston says providing fast internet access was key.
“It’s very scary.” he says.
Creviston and his partners are concerned that with a non neutral internet, clients might not be able to access their services easily.
“At any point a customer could be charged more to go to my web site as opposed to one of my competitors’ websites,” says Creviston.
In a 3 to 2 vote the FCC decided to repeal net neutrality. Supporters believe that will allow internet service providers to expand.
“They sky isn’t falling. Consumers remain protected and the internet will flourish,” says FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.
Critics fear the vote allows providers to create different speeds of service on the internet, with faster lanes for companies willing to pay, making it harder for smaller companies to compete.
Entrepreneur Carlos Rosenwald created Story Street Labs as a place for writers to share short narratives.
“The little guy is the one who fears the most when these things happen,” says Rosenbwald.
Even with 15,000 registered authors, he worries about the ability to grow if the internet becomes an expensive place to do business.
“We have been a country that’s always prided ourselves in supporting entrepreneurs and supporting start ups,” says Rosenwald. “This could be a threat for a lot of us.”
There’s always concern that internet providers may grant faster streaming service to partners, like HBO, and charge competitors, like Netflix, for the same level of service.
For the moment, it’s unclear how it’ll impact ordinary users who want to check email or watch the next episode of “Stranger Things.”