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Recent repeal of net neutrality regulations could impact local businesses

The recent repeal is something that could affect anyone who uses the internet for personal or professional use. (WICS)

The recent repeal is something that could affect anyone who uses the internet for personal or professional use.

Local businesses are speaking up saying this will impact them, and not in a good way.

"How else are we going to promote our businesses from a social media perspective, I think it's going to have huge impacts," Mark Forinash, Owner of Café Moxo said.

People are calling it the "end of the internet as we know it," after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal its landmark net neutrality rules.

Anyone who relies on the internet in any way will be affected. Just like some local coffee shops and books stores around Springfield.

"I have small margins to begin with and if I have to pay extra for something that was basically free then it's going to put a damper on my business," John Combs, Owner of Elf Shelf Books and Music said.

"We use iPhones and iPads to process credit cards, here in the restaurant, or out in the field when we are making deliveries, so that extra cost is going to be something we take a closer look at," Forinash said.

Even non-business owners will be affected. Service providers will decide which apps make it into the bundle you have to purchase, and it could cost you more to watch Netflix or send messages on social media.

"I think it's going to be interesting to see how some of the providers like Verizon, Comcast, Charter will start to dial down people's usage and add some of those extra fees," Forinash said.

Some fear that cable and phone companies will control what people see and do online.

"It's just another way that seems big businesses are trying to strangle the small guy," Combs said.

However, it's not a done deal, it’s possible this could end up in court or be decided by legislation in Congress.

Initially, net neutrality rules were approved by the FCC in 2015 after online support to keep the internet open and fair. The biggest concern is that the internet will become a "pay to play" deal.

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