After the Federal Communications Commission announced two weeks ago it intends to repeal Obama-era nondiscrimination internet protections, 被称为“网络中立”,“正如我们所知，互联网正在进行修订.
Drastic changes to internet policy by the FCC are expected in the near future according to professor Johannes Bauer, 密歇根州立大学媒体和信息部的主席.
“Net neutrality is a set of principles that oblige internet providers not to discriminate by type of information, 按用户类型划分, 按设备类型, 或者根据信息来源的类型,”鲍尔说. “目前形式的网络中立是在2015年引入的.”
鲍尔自1990年以来一直是密歇根州立大学的教员. 他是奥地利人，最初在美国学习.S. as a guest doctoral student at University of California, Berkeley and Columbia. 他拥有经济学博士学位.
In 2005, FCC宣布了基本的政策意图, 对互联网用户的非歧视保护.
“它没有法律效力，”鲍尔说. “It was not a law that congress had passed, nor was it a formal regulation.”
By the late 2000’s, internet providers began to take advantage of the loose policy. 供应商减慢了特定群体的互联网服务速度. Comcast sued the FCC over a dispute with BitTorrent, a file sharing service. 康卡斯特已经放慢了平台的速度. 一家联邦上诉法院做出了有利于康卡斯特的裁决, stating the FCC did not have the authority to regulate provider content. This lead the FCC to include net neutrality rules into its Title I framework in 2010.
“The first round tried to implement net neutrality in the Title I framework,鲍尔说:“(它)执行非歧视的权力很弱。.”
Title I framework under the FCC is reserved for information services, 其中包括当时的互联网. "Common carriers" under Title II framework are subject to regulation. Common carriers include telephone companies and other telecommunications services.
In 2015, the FCC finally gained the ability to regulate internet content by reclassifying internet providers as a common carrier. The FCC put nondiscrimination policies in place under Title II, which led to “net neutrality”. Internet providers could not limit internet access to any of it’s clients.
鲍尔说:“许多网络运营商不喜欢这种动向。. "They thought it was going back to a time where it was more intrusive. They felt it was not compatible with the open free-wheeling spirit of the internet. 同时, 亚马逊, 苹果, 脸谱网, 谷歌, 推特, 网飞公司, were very much in favor of those rules because they felt it would give them a better position in the market to make sure their information would reach to consumers without discrimination.”
Spartan-Net Operations Officer and co-founder Richard Laing does not expect their internet service to be impacted by repealed nondiscrimination polices. Spartan-Net services over 75 communities in East Lansing including DTN Management and Cron Management.
"We don't discriminate against anybody; we work with anyone who wants to work with us,”莱恩说. "Our position is that we want to give the very best experience to every subscriber that we have, so we're not going to discriminate against the way you want to use our network."
Lang believes the major service providers are more likely to be impacted by a repeal.
"If a service provider, say Comcast, decides that they don’t want AT&T DirecTV的内容通过他们的网络, 歧视他们, 对我来说，这就是它的影响,”莱恩说. "Net neutrality is not necessarily going to impact the way that our pricing is. 我不认为它会增加，因为我们是一个网络中立的网络."
“对于学生创业, I can see that being pushed into slow lanes or providers not privileging your content could be damaging,体验建筑学专业的Katie Musial说. 尤其是当他们不6up扑克之星安卓版你所做的事情时.”
Musial是MSU Hatch的成员, 为学生创业者设立的创业孵化器, 她是该组织的网络顾问.
“在这些规则下，言论自由将会下降，”穆塞尔说. “These companies would be able to say what they want seen and privilege that.”
Bauer expressed similar views on the possibility of providers limiting information flow.
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“Unless you have these nondiscrimination protections in place in one form or another, it might well be that the network access providers become gatekeepers,”鲍尔说. “他们会为你整理信息.”
“我觉得互联网应该是每个人的免费平台,计算机科学专业大三学生奥斯汀·罗伯茨说. “我不认为互联网服务提供商应该成为受害者. 这就像DTE限制了某些电器的能量.”
There could likely be many changes to FCC internet regulations in the years to come. FCC commissioners are appointed by the president with approval by the Senate and serve five year terms.
“If network operators are able to offer those special services in a less regulated way I think actually we would indeed see new types of innovation, 但目前的提议并没有真正做到这一点,”鲍尔说. “目前的提案消除了所有的保护. The best option in my view would be kind of like a middle, third approach. Where you keep some of the nondiscrimination protections in place, but do it without differentiation. 我称之为弱网络中立性.”
Bauer expects internet service to be similar to a current cable subscription. Access to certain sites would be limited until a more expensive service is purchased.
“他们可能会卖给你一包，然后说, “好吧, 你可以上网, and then for three dollars a month more you get access to search services, 音乐服务每月3美元。”,”鲍尔说. “There is a fear among many people that we will get a more fragmented information communication environment.”
Bauer does not expect this drastic of a change to happen without a challenge.
Editor's note: a previous version of this story misspelled Richard Laing's name. 它已经被更新了.
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