Phoenix-area experts weigh in on Net Neutrality repeal

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

In a 3 to 2 party line vote, the FCC has decided to roll back the Obama-era net neutrality rules which guarantee equal access to the internet.

If you're like 87 percent of the population who use the internet daily, this will affect you.

Thursday's vote to repeal net neutrality laws essentially makes it possible for your internet provider to block certain websites or charge more for faster speeds if they chose to.

[RELATED: FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality']

"If you relate it to something like COX communications who has the PAC 12 Network, and you relate this to DirecTV who has the Sunday NFL Ticket, that's essentially what's going to happen to the internet," said Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Marcus' telecommunications company manages the computers and servers for several Valley health care providers. He wonders what this will mean for them and their online medical records.  

"So if they're operating on somebody and can't get to a record fast enough, that could cause a lot of problems," said Marcus.  

Meanwhile, some educators worry this may also have an impact on the way today's students access online learning materials.

[RELATED: Why are people so passionate about net neutrality?]

Dr. Heather Ross, assistant professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU, teaches hundreds of students through online classes. 

"I'm afraid that those internet resources, those websites might not make it into a fast lane an internet service provider could set up and it really could impact the way our students educate themselves online," said Ross. 

Those in favor of the change argue the regulations kept internet service providers from expanding. Some supporters also say this could introduce more competition, maybe even driving down prices. 

"The sky isn't falling, consumers will remain protected and the internet will flourish," said Brendan Carr, FCC Commissioner.

Either way, you won't see any changes overnight. The matter still has to go before Congress, that process could take months.

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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