Local agencies monitoring potential impact following net neutral - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local agencies monitoring potential impact following net neutrality repeal

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Leveling the playing field, that's what supporters say net neutrality is designed to do. But not everyone agrees, saying government regulations went too far.    

"It is not the job of the government to be in the business of picking winners and losers in the internet economy," says the Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. 

But, the net neutrality repeal has some stateline groups worried about what kind of impact the move could have locally. 

"If I were an E-commerce businesses - I would be more concerned for those businesses right off the bat," Lisa Chatfield at AD vice marketing says. 

Chatfield says the net neutrality repeal could result in internet providers giving preferential treatment to larger online stores. That could effect things like how quickly a smaller business' website loads. 

"If things aren't loading properly, if things aren't loading quickly, then you lose a shopper. That's a lost opportunity for sales," Chatfield says. 

Small businesses aren't the only group worried about what could potentially happen -- the Rockford Public Library is too. 

"Our library is vibrant and thriving because our citizens need a place to come, access the internet, use the computers, get their job skills training, get their educational materials," Bridget Finn with the Rockford Public Library says.  

Under deregulation, providers could charge higher rates to access certain websites. If that's the case, the library says it might have to cut back on some of its internet services. 

"We operate on tax dollars, grants and generous private donations, but our resources are spoken for and our clients come in and access the internet because they cannot do so at home," Finn says.  

The library says it doesn't anticipate cut backs right away. That's because it says it's in its second year of a five year contract with its internet provider.

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