Natasha Reda
December 14, 2017 9:04 am
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The FCC is preparing to vote on whether to end net neutrality — aka the rule that requires internet service providers to treat all websites as equal in terms of speed and cost. The vote is set to take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET and will ultimately determine the fate of the internet as we know it.

You might be wondering why the words “net neutrality” have been in the news so much, and whether or not we should care. Well, a world without it might mean having to pay more to access internet content you want. In other words, if you hate that pesky loading symbol as much as we do, then you’ll want the FCC to vote to keep net neutrality.

Right now, your internet service provider (ISP) is not allowed to discriminate against what content you view online. However, if the repeal passes and moves forward, we could all have a different, more annoying and expensive internet experience.

Have you ever been stuck on a slow connection? So slow that you can’t stream your favorite TV show or movie? Without net neutrality, ISPs like Comcast, as well as many mobile carriers, could slow down sites like Netflix, and only speed it up for a fee.

Aside from interrupting your binge-watching, the net neutrality repeal could also change the way you shop online. ISPs would technically be allowed to charge extra for access to sites you like to visit. Not to mention the potential changes for people who work from home and make their livings from the internet.

We’ll be monitoring today’s vote extremely closely.

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