Central Oregonians react to FCC plans to dismantle net neutrality

Would allow pay-for-play internet service rules

FCC plans to take down net neutrality

BEND, Ore. - Central Oregonians reacted Tuesday to the Federal Communications Commission's announcement of long-expected plans to scrap net neutrality regulations. The repeal would lift rules that stop internet service providers from slowing web traffic and create so-called paid internet fast lanes.

For example, companies like Netflix would be able to pay more than a smaller company that provides the same service to make its connection faster. Internet service providers would be able to create "tiers of service," allowing them to charge more for subscription packages that include websites that cannot afford to be part of the basic package.

The issue really comes down to whether you'd be willing to pay extra for access to a website that cannot pay as much to internet providers as YouTube or Facebook.

NewsChannel 21 asked people in Bend that question.

"I wouldn't pay more," one Bend resident said. "I wouldn't go out of my way to access that website."

"I wouldn't like that," another said. "I don't think I should have to pay extra for that. I think that might be too much control by the internet companies."

A visitor from Seattle said, "Just because you have more money or more power doesn't mean you should control what people get to hear. It's not right."

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the regulations allow the internet to remain a level playing field.  Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., supports the repeal, saying the internet would flourish under less regulation.

But experts in the field say only the internet service providers and the industry's biggest corporations would benefit, as they'd be able to price out smaller competition for more bandwidth.

"We would gradually start to see organizations that try to maintain their own web presence start to be squeezed out by the larger, more moneyed organizations," internet security analyst James Wherry said. "And that would affect everyone, eventually."

In our new KTVZ.COM Poll, we're asking if you support FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to repeal net neutrality rules. You can find the poll halfway down the right side of our home page.

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