American business tycoon Mark Cuban fears keeping net neutrality will effectively give control of the internet to Donald Trump.
The United States will vote on eliminating net neutrality next month, which would give service providers free reign to charge higher prices to visit more popular website. The hot issue has plastered the internet and would see rules put in place during the Obama administration removed.
Cuban, who made his millions during the dot-com boom with Broadcast.com, is in favour of rolling back regulations and believes the current system gives too much control to the government. He tweeted on Wednesday (22 November): Do net neutrality proponents realize (sic) that continuing the rules as is effectively puts (Donald Trump) in charge of the Internet and it's future?"
Despite wide public protest, Cuban believes that unregulated cable companies will be able to heavily invest in infrastructure to improve services. But US residents fear a lack of competition will lead to massive charges for premium internet services.
The net neutrality vote will take place on 14 December and is likely to pass. Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai revealed on Tuesday (21 November) that the agency would review a proposal to replace the regulations.
The Internet Association, which includes Amazon, Facebook and Google, has strongly opposed removing net neutrality regulations. President Michael Beckerman said changes would give control to the internet service providers. "Consumers have little choice in their [providers], and service providers should be be allowed to discriminate against website and apps," Beckerman said.
Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee shared an infographic to give people an idea of how removing net neutrality would affect broadband costs. It breaks each section of the internet up into packages, which a consumer would have to buy separately: