There's a fight brewing over the future of the way the internet works. The FCC voted to repeal net neutrality rules two months ago.
Attorney General Jim Hood is now joining 22 other attorneys general in a lawsuit against the FCC. Hood says a net neutrality repeal would allow internet service providers to control and slow down consumers' lawful internet activity.
“The repeal of net neutrality would have dire consequences for consumers and businesses in Mississippi and across the country who rely on and have a right to a free and open internet,” said General Hood.
Christopher Lomax founded Mantle, a co-working space and technology incubator
"All you need is a laptop and an internet connection," noted Lomax.
That's been the door to a world of opportunities, even for a start-up in a place like Mississippi.
"We don't want to be one of those companies that says, come get some free coffee but some really slow internet," said Lomax. "Because we can't afford to be ramped up like that."
Net neutrality rules were put in place in 2015 to prevent speed traps on the internet, speeding up or slowing down access to certain sites.
Services providers want net neutrality gone because they don't want government regulation. But entrepreneurs like Lomax say it could be detrimental to start-ups in the state.
"That's not a place that we need to be in because information and data is the new era," added Lomax. "It is the new clean water. We have to do that for economies to succeed, for marketplaces to grow. In Mississippi, we don't need anything standing in that way."
The FCC has said a repeal would require internet service providers to make it so consumers could buy the plan that's best for them. Some have said that could mean paying extra to access parts of the internet that were previously free. For example, if you want to watch Netflix, they could charge you extra since it uses more bandwidth.
"If Netflix is really having success in an area like producing their content, the internet service provider can come along and say you know what we're going to slow down Netflix," explained Lomax. "And we're going to produce our own Stranger Things. And it's going to be delivered fast to our users."
Documents filed Thursday show the change won't officially happen until April 23rd. But as we mentioned, the fight to stop it is already making its way into the courts.
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