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What The FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling Means For You

Huffington Post - In a landmark move Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission approved new rules supporting net neutrality. The regulations aim to ban Internet service providers (ISPs) from giving preferential treatment to companies that would pay extra to get their content to consumers.

The debate over this principle has raged for years. Proponents like Tumblr CEO David Karp say net neutrality protects the little guys, ensuring that their voices have as much of an opportunity to be heard as those belonging to large conglomerates.

Opponents, including several ISPs like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, argue that services like Netflix and Amazon should have to pay for the disproportionately high bandwidth they use. Streaming a movie takes a much greater toll on a network than loading a blog, for example. During peak hours in North America, Netflix accounts for over one third of "downstream" Internet traffic, which is the data received (rather than sent) by computers.

The FCC's new decision is a win for net neutrality proponents. But it's not final, and it awaits refinement from the courts and Congress, in addition to an expected heap of lawsuits from telecoms.

So, what will this mean for you?