The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is holding an historic vote today.
The FCC — currently led by Ajit Pai — will voting to repeal Obama-era internet regulations that protected internet users and prevented large entities from exerting undue influence over consumers.
As of the time of this writing, the vote is expected to swing 3-2 in favour of repealing the protections established by the FCC under former president Barack Obama.
In advance of this vote, Pai has released a video with the help of conservative news blog The Daily Caller detailing how consumers will be affected by the net neutrality repeals.
Pai’s video mentions that users will continue to be able to Instagram food; take selfies with cute animals; take part in online fandom culture and binge-watch television programs.
That last point, of course, is not entirely true, as the U.S. corporations that supply internet service to Americans have, in the past, throttled streaming services like Netflix under the guise of preserving internet speeds for other users. In fact, the existence of internet speed lanes for certain websites was one of the primary reasons why the FCC previously voted to establish net neutrality protections.
How does any of this affect Canada?
While a group of five people are set to vote on a provision that will affect every single resident of the U.S., Canada’s leaders have taken a different approach — one that supports net neutrality.
Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains have publicly stated their support for net neutrality provisions.
— Navdeep Bains (@NavdeepSBains) November 22, 2017
However, not all Canadians are on the same page when it comes to internet regulation.
According to a report by Canadaland released earlier this month, Bell is currently attempting to establish an anti-piracy not-for-profit organization that would blacklist websites accused on infringing on copyright.
Canadaland further reported that Rogers, Cineplex and Quebec theatre chain Cinema Guzzo are also involved in Bell’s coalition. However a Rogers spokesperson told MobileSyrup that Canada’s largest national telecom is simply in the process of reviewing the proposal.
“On the issue of online piracy, we’re all for streaming and new ways of watching content, but pirating content means that content creators don’t get paid for their work,” said a Rogers spokesperson in an email to MobileSyrup.
The FCC begins its monthly meeting at 10:30 a.m. ET, but won’t vote on the net neutrality repeals until well into the meeting.
Readers can livestream the FCC’s meeting on the agency’s official website.