Local response to FCC's plan to repeal net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission plans to get rid of net neutrality rules.

Posted: Nov 22, 2017 6:29 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Not many people truly understand internet neutrality.


"It's a complex issue that I think has unfortunately been demagogued to a certain degree," said State Sen. Brandt Hershman.

Computer Keyboard

Both sides of the net neutrality argument feel that way.

"If people have heard about it, some of it depends on who they've heard about it from," said Purdue Computer Science Professor Gene Spafford.

Net Neutrality rules were put into place in 2015 to ensure internet service providers treat all online content equally to prevent them from favoring their own digital services over rivals. Now, the FCC plans to repeal the rules. Hershman supports the idea.

"If one company tries to squeeze your ability to access content, you're likely to drop them and go someplace else," said Hershman. "And I think that kind of effective competition in which the consumer has choices is far better in the marketplace than government regulation."

But Spafford said when it comes to internet service providers, we don't have many choices, and the ones we do have, we can't trust.

"These are not organizations that are acting on the public's behalf, they're acting to make a profit," said Spafford. "And they're going to adopt whatever mechanisms allow them to do that."

"I think that is extremely unlikely," said Hershman. "When we deregulated telecommunications in Indiana there was an assertion that there would be some favoritism like this that would occur and it didn't and it hasn't and the reason is because there is vibrant competition in the marketplace."

Spafford thinks that's like comparing apples to oranges.

"For the telephone, it's not a case where if I pick up the receiver I have to endure a 30-minute commercial. Or if I dial some numbers to talk to somebody I get a message that says you have to subscribe to our ultra service for another 40 dollars a month," said Spafford.

That's the kind of situation Spafford thinks consumers of the internet will be in without neutrality rules. But Hershman said hypotheticals are just scare tactics.

"Because at the end of the day, these businesses want to serve consumers in a way that the consumers buy their product," said Hershman.

But Spafford said he knows how large companies work.

"It won't be all at once, it won't be all of a sudden, it will be in little bits and pieces so that the public won't be as aware of what's going on," said Spafford.

The FCC will vote on the decision next month.

West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 62°
Kokomo
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 61°
Rensselaer
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 59°
Fowler
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 59°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 62°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 59°
Frankfort
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 63°
Delphi
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 61°
Monticello
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 61°
Logansport
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 61°
Dry Conditions To Continue
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events