House vote still looms at Net Neutrality comes to an end

The Federal Communications Commission rollback of net neutrality went into effect today. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai championed the move while commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel opposed

While the move was supported by the telecom industry, it has faced fierce resistance from others. Almost two dozen states and several companies have sued the government to try and preserve the rules.

Q. What's net neutrality, again? "Hold the obituaries. Net neutrality is not dead", Fight for the Future Deputy Director Evan Greer said in a statement.

"Today, the Trump Administration has set into motion the destruction of the free and open Internet", she claimed. But what's more likely to occur are subtle changes to your Internet experience that you may or may not notice.

The revised rules were a win for ISPs, whose practices faced significant government oversight and FCC investigations under the 2015 order.

Why is net neutrality such a big deal?

"I don't think anything gets better for consumers", said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the five-person commission.

Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon and Comcast have a great deal of freedom over how they conduct their business.

Pai says Internet service will become cheaper and faster with the rules now gone. "Americans in every state and across the political spectrum support rules that ban ISPs from blocking, throttling, and prioritizing web traffic". It will then be evaluated based on whether or not the activity is anti-competitive.

He added that the Federal Trade Commission will work to protect consumers.


Advocacy groups continue to fight.

As already noted, today's the day that the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules are officially eliminated.

In the days of net neutrality, internet service providers were not allowed to block access to any website - unless that website was in breach of the law.

Net neutrality means that Internet providers have to treat everyone equally online. Earlier this decade, many consumers found their access to Netflix slowed amid a dispute between the streaming video provider and broadband companies over who would pay to upgrade the connections between their networks. 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.

The repeal could also change how customers are billed for services, both for good and bad.

As of Monday morning, net neutrality no longer exists. Under the new policy, a violation might occur when regulators find out that an Internet provider has been blocking websites without saying so.

Yet, some fear it's also possible internet providers will one day effectively charge customers more to access services like Netflix that are now included as part of your monthly bill.

Not much is expected to change right away, however, as the possibility of legislation and litigation looms.

Is there a chance the repeal is, well, repealed? And in its repeal decision, the FCC explicitly rejects the idea that it has much authority to regulate Internet providers at all.

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