PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Most eyes glaze over when someone says net neutrality.
But not Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
At the KDKA-TV studios on Tuesday, Shapiro told KDKA money editor Jon Delano that everyone who has internet service should care about the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality.
Delano: “What exactly is net neutrality, and why should I care?”
Shapiro: “So when a Pittsburgher goes to turn the internet on in their home, they get an internet service provider. That’s Comcast, or someone like that provides internet to your home.”
Although Comcast and Verizon are the biggest in this region, there are lots of service providers or ISPs.
Consumers can choose to pay them more for faster internet speeds.
“But here’s the key, Jon. Whatever the speed you choose, it’s applied universally across the board, so whether you’re loading up KDKA’s website or Amazon or any other website, you’re going to get access to that at the same speed — thanks to net neutrality,” says Shapiro.
Without net neutrality, your service provider can cut deals with content providers to speed up or throttle, meaning slow down, your ability to download a particular site.
Shapiro says that it is anti-consumer.
“Several attorneys general, including me, have said we’re going to take legal action against the FCC to try to stop them from doing away with net neutrality. We think we have a sound legal basis for that,” Shapiro said.
What particularly irks Shapiro is that the FCC relied on public comments that were fake.
“We estimate about a 100,000 Pennsylvanians and nearly two million Americans whose — these are real people — whose names were used to issue fake comments,” says Shapiro.
But the FCC ignored that, said Shapiro, which is why he will sue to reinstate net neutrality.
Shapiro says it will take a couple months for the FCC to implement the repeal of net neutrality.
That’s plenty of time for him to file his lawsuit.
He’s also hopeful that Comcast, Verizon, and other service providers really mean it when they say they won’t attempt to throttle internet speeds to consumers.
But he’d rather a law to protect us.
Finally, if you’d like to see whether a fake comment was made in your name to the FCC, check it out: https://badcomments.attorneygeneral.gov/