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Rural Case on Net Neutrality

The neutrality debate pits major internet providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Mediacom -- just to name a few -- against a growing industry of internet content providers such as Google, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Caught in between are rural residents who lag behind urban residents in quality internet service, but also have growing demands for internet content.The FCC created the net neutrality rule in 2015 when Democrats controlled a majority of votes at the commission. The rule essentially classified high-speed internet as a public utility that should provide equal access. The FCC said Tuesday that the commission will return to "a light regulatory touch" that had been the FCC strategy for more than a decade leading up to the 2015 rule.Defenders of net neutrality argue internet companies could block websites or throttle down their speeds, especially if entertainment providers are unwilling to pay for faster access. Companies could potentially favor search engines they own. Verizon Communications, for instance, owns Yahoo.Another potential concern is that internet providers will start splitting various high-traffic websites into bundled packages, much like cable providers do with television stations. People would then be forced to pay higher fees to view other websites or find the speeds for those unbundled websites throttled down or shut off altogether.

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