The way the internet works in the United States is on the brink of entering a new era, one where internet service providers can freely throttle your bandwidth or break up internet service into tiered packages like cable.
According to sources close to the issue in a report from Bloomberg, the United States Federal Communications Commission is planning to kill off the rules that demand fair treatment of web traffic and might decide to remove the regulations the rule put in place altogether this December.
To this date, Net Neutrality has maintained that internet service providers must provide equal broadband access to ensure an "Open Internet." It kept internet users from facing higher prices to reach certain services (think Xbox Live, PSN).
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai plans to seek a vote in December, said two people who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. In addition to that, Pai may " call for vacating the rules except for portions that mandate internet service providers inform customers about their practices — one of the more severe options that would please broadband providers."
Here's how Net Neutrality being reversed (or removed) could affect gaming or your browsing/streaming habits.
If an anti-Net Neutrality law is passed, internet service providers will be legally allowed to charge you more money to access premium sites (ie. Netflix, Amazon, XBL, PSN, etc), like cable networks do for HBO, Showtime, Starz, and the rest of the special channel packages.
Essentially, if you are using up plenty of broadband to stream YouTube, Netflix, or play games online, you're looking at a price hike that will allow you to stream data and maintain a decent internet connection. Internet service providers have already been caught throttling bandwidth and attempting to force internet users to pay extra for using an excessive amount of bandwidth.
Overturning net neutrality would allow internet service providers to do this freely.
Back when Net Neutrality first passed, the Entertainment Software Association spoke out in favor of the ruling, saying that:
“Great online video game experiences depend upon low latency, high bandwidth connections. We hope that the rule announced today by the FCC will promote continued development of fast online connections while protecting gamers from anti-competitive and discriminatory practices.”
Netflix has already spoken out about overturning Net Neutrality, but it's up to the folks this will directly affect to speak up on the issue and actually take the steps necessary to do something about it, instead of complaining from home.