The Tech Bet

'Net neutrality' a potential strain on consumers

Christina Medici Scolaro
Tech Yeah! Net neutrality

Google, Facebook and at least 100 other online giants have penned a letter to the Federal Communications Commission tackling issues associated with "net neutrality."

The tech companies are proponents to the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated equally, while the FCC plan is to allow broadband companies to charge content providers for access to the fastest lanes on the Internet.

It's a complicated issue that pulls consumers in to the mix as well.

People demonstrate for net neutrality in the exclusive neighborhood of Bel-Air outside a USC Shoah Foundation fundraiser to be attended by President Barack Obama on May 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Getty Images

"On the one hand we have Internet service providers saying, 'hey wait, these certain channels are sucking up all this space and we don't think that's very fair,'" said Sarah Buhr, technology reporter at USA Today. "On the other hand you have the consumer and also channels like Netflix, Hulu, Facebook and Google saying, 'hey wait a minute these people already paid for the service that you're providing. We should not be charged to have either faster Internet or have it so slow that it's unusable.'"

The ripple effect trickles down to the consumer because they've already paid for the service. It's like being charged extra for something that's already supposed to be good.

Buhr said besides extra costs for the Internet companies and the consumer, newly reformed net neutrality rules can hamper what is now a true and open Internet.

"If you have a podcast or you have a YouTube channel and you want your voice to be heard, the argument is that these Internet service providers if they don't like what you're saying, they can actually slow it down to the point of not being out to get the information out there or they can block your information," Buhr said.

By CNBC's Christina Medici Scolaro.