Who Will Be Affected by the Loss of Net Neutrality?
Small businesses: The little guy will be left in the "slow lane" with inferior Internet service, unable to compete.
Innovators with the next big idea: Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay Internet providers for the top spots on the Web.
Bloggers: Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips — silencing citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate media outlets.
Google users: Another search engine could pay dominant Internet providers like AT&T to guarantee that their search engine opens faster than Google on your computer.
iPod listeners: A company like Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering you toward a higher-priced music service it owns.
Online shoppers: Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee that their online sales process faster than competitors with lower prices — distorting your choices as a consumer.
Telecommuters: When Internet companies like AT&T favor their own services, you won't be able to choose more affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, Internet phone calls and software that connect your home computer to your office.
Parents and retirees: Your choices as a consumer could be controlled by your Internet provider, steering you to their preferred services for online banking, health care information, photo sharing, vacation planning, etc.
Political groups: Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers that ask advocacy groups to pay "protection money" for their websites and online features to work correctly.
Nonprofits: A charity's website could open at snail-like speeds, and online contributions could grind to a halt if nonprofits don't pay Internet providers for access to "the fast lane."