Net neutrality debate heats up ahead of FCC vote

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The debate over net neutrality is heating up ahead of an FCC vote on December 14.

Though many expect the Republican majority panel will vote to end the net neutrality rules.

They were passed during the Obama era to ensure open access to all information on the web.

Critics argue that ending the rules will allow major providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to control access, exposure and cost.

Some expect providers to give preferential treatment to their own content and services and impose charges for optimal use of sites like Netflix and Facebook.

Current FCC chairman Ajit Pai is a Trump appointee who believes fewer regulations will lead to more investment and innovation to improve the internet. And transparency requirements would remain.

But, some argue the possibility of payment and service tiers will only favor big business.

Opponents of net neutrality include internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and they argue that it is unnecessary oversight.

And because major service providers are somewhat unpopular, efforts to throttle or introduce extra fees for popular sites could backfire with consumers.

Comcast and AT&T have already committed to preserving an open internet, as they did before 2015 when net neutrality was first passed.