The decision to eliminate #Net Neutrality has finally happened. What has seemed like a looming #internet apocalypse has now come to fruition. When the FCC voted along party lines, favoring to end net neutrality by a vote of 3-2, they opened a Pandora's box. A report by Yahoo! provided some of the facts for this article.

The scariest part for many right now is that no one truly knows where it will lead.

A best-case scenario sees things more or less remaining as they are now [VIDEO], with all of the freedom and innovation that the internet is known for. At worst, the internet might look a lot like it does in countries like #china and Russia.

Not exactly beacons for freedom of speech in the world.

Consumer prices will increase

The big fear among most average people is that the cost of going online will now likely rise. With telecom companies free to charge as they please, expect to see tiered pricing and package plans, much like how cable television is offered.

It makes some sense that if you have cable TV service, you would buy packages of channels you want to watch. Sports packages are a popular option, giving a consumer the ability to watch their favorite sports and teams on several possible channels.

What doesn't make sense is to try and use that same model online. While there may only be, say 10-20 sports channels operating that can be easily bundled for TV, there are likely thousands and thousands of websites available for any given interest.

Forcing consumers to select which websites that they will have access to use is counterproductive to what the internet was originally created for.

Businesses will suffer as well

For large corporations, this change in law may mean that they have to shell out a few extra bucks here and there. The amount of money will nowhere near affect their operations and they will continue to dominate their industries. But what about small businesses and start-ups?

Under the new landscape, these companies will see so many new barriers to entry that many will just give up.

When Comcast forced Netflix to pay extra or else their connection speeds would slow down for their customers a few years ago, it was seen as a cost of doing business. That is only because by then, Netflix had grown massively in popularity and could afford the surcharge. If that same threat was levied against Netflix in their early days, it may have been enough to close up shop.

This is the threat that small businesses and start-ups will now face.

Larger corporations can influence telecom companies to eliminate their competition by reducing connection speeds or charging extortion rates to continue receiving service. There is literally nothing stopping telecom companies from behaving in this manner. They simply need to just provide a vague notice, one that can technically just be a link to the FCCs new rules.

Further corruption is likely to come from how corporations and conglomerates are intertwined. Comcast owns NBC. Would Comcast limit or restrict access to rivals like ABC and CBS? They would be free to do so. They also own Netflix, so the ability to keep their subscribers from using Hulu is another way they could manipulate consumers' viewing habits.

The tit for tat between corporations will be petty, but nothing too serious. How these companies react to and treat the next Hulu, or Google, or Facebook, remains to be seen. If they discriminate against the small guys, then the innovation and freedom that has been the hallmark of achievement for the internet will truly be dead.