The FCC decision came in spite of overwhelming public support for net neutrality. Internet service providers face fewer obligations under the FCC's [VIDEO] regulatory structure than do providers of telecom service, a category that covers landline phone companies. Many feel there isn’t enough competition in the broadband market to trust that the companies will try to offer the best services. The rule changes, they believe, give providers incentive to begin charging websites to reach consumers. In some countries, internet bundling is already happening. Consumers could suffer from pay-to-play deals. Without rules prohibiting paid prioritization, a fast lane could be occupied by the big internet and media companies, as well as affluent households, while everyone else would be left out.

Most of the facts within this article come from reports published by the Washington Post.

Internet service providers will have more control

Many consumer advocates have argued that if the rules get scrapped, broadband providers will begin selling the internet in bundles, not unlike how cable television is sold today. Want to access Facebook and Twitter? Under a bundling system, getting on those sites could require paying for a premium social media package. Indian regulators are looking to balance consumer and corporate priorities in areas such as security, privacy, and ownership of data. Moreover, they are considering adopting regulations to spur competition in mobile data services.

Repealing Net Neutrality regulations means consumers could start paying more for their internet services, critics have said.

Consumers could also see ISPs start to “bundle” services — such as certain websites or applications — and charge more depending on what a person wants access to, experts said. That type of plan can become problematic if ISPs decide to favor data from their own businesses or services that pay up for preferential treatment. Currently, American consumers typically pay their ISPs for a certain amount of bandwidth, regardless of which services they use.

What does this mean for consumers?

For instance, the ESPN sports network has been trying to build up its online offerings in a bid to create an alternative to traditional cable TV systems in the delivery of sports programs. One major concern of ESPN [VIDEO] strategists is that viewers may balk, not knowing whether watching their favorite teams online would put them over their data cap and end up costing them a fortune in excess use charges. Under a sponsored data plan, that risk would be covered by ESPN, not the consumer [VIDEO]. It would be like offering 800 numbers for the web, with content providers paying the cost of connection, but getting more business in return.