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As Net Neutrality Ends, Activists Push Congress to Restore Obama-Era Rules

13 June, 2018, 18:38 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • Net Neutrality Officially Expired. Now States Are Passing Their Own Laws

ISPs will be under the scanner of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that will be able to investigate if internet providers engage in anti-competitive behavior.

After the commission voted to repeal the rules in December, it faced a public outcry, legal challenges from state attorneys general and public interest groups, and a push by Democratic lawmakers to overturn the decision.

To put it simply, internet service providers could start charging companies to ensure their content loads at a decent speed, which is very important if a company is to be successful online. In a statement at the time, FCC chairman Ajit Pai framed the upcoming repeal as removing burdensome regulations. Under the new rules, internet providers are no longer required to offer equal access to all web content.

"This was a loss for consumers and a mistake we have reversed". The bill, passed with broad bipartisan support in February and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee in March, had a provision to kick into effect the moment the FCC finalized its order to eliminate the requirement for neutral Internet service, which occurred today. Those Obama-era rules prevented ISPs from blocking or slowing legal traffic, or from being paid for prioritized, faster delivery.

What's Everyone so Worried About?

The internet probably won't immediately become (more of) a dystopian nightmare. "You want access to the whole Internet?" "Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet a lot like cable TV". From school teachers to small business owners, everyone who approached him seemed on board. Under its principles, Internet providers shouldn't interfere with your ability to reach the websites, apps or services of your choice. They will have the right to discriminate and favor the Internet traffic of those companies with whom they have pay-for-play arrangements and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road.

Several states have taken measures to ensure the rules stay in effect.

Meanwhile, as an added "bonus", Verizon and Comcast successfully lobbied the FCC to include language in the repal banning states from trying to protect consumers in the wake of the reduced FCC oversight.

The reality is that what no one knows exactly what the internet will look like moving forward without net neutrality in place.

Net Neutrality, a term coined by Columbia University media law professor and former NY state lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu, is a rule where all telecommunication companies must treat all data equality and may not discriminate or charge differently. If the only providers that can serve state governments are those that observe net neutrality, these states reason, then it could shape what services consumers are offered, too.

Pai argued that net neutrality created a disincentive for internet services to invest in their networks.

The FCC's abandonment of net neutrality laws, voted on a year ago, finally takes effect today. "President Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed on a light-touch framework to regulating the internet". Some consumers fear a slower Internet and higher costs for broadband delivery. "They're not going to roll out harmful paid prioritization plans, site blocking or throttling right away". Verizon won that case because the FCC didn't have to power to regulate the ISPs under the Title I classification that the ISPs were regulated under before. Thanks to the repeal, the FCC no longer has that authority. "It's people who have been appointed". Ed Markey, D-Mass., a longtime network neutrality advocate and a member of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Still, others cheered the rollback. The intention was to keep the internet open and fair.

Perhaps the repeal won't change the direction of the internet.

More than 20 states have filed a lawsuit to stop the net neutrality repeal.

Mayer explains when it comes to businesses, it will have the biggest impact on large corporations like Amazon and Walmart.



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