Net neutrality officially ends today

Ruben Ruiz
June 12, 2018

They don't want their broadband providers blocking websites or censoring content, and this agency gave broadband providers the legal right to do so.

It was put in place by the Obama Administration but President Trump made a decision to scrap the rule in December.

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the 2015 Obama administration's landmark net neutrality rules in December by a 3-2 vote, sparking a firestorm of criticism on social media websites, opposition from internet firms like Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), and protests among Democrats in the Republican-controlled Congress.

"Monday, we are ending this flawed approach and allowing smaller internet service providers to focus their efforts on deploying more broadband, connecting more Americans with digital opportunity, and offering more competition in the marketplace", Pai wrote in a column for CNET published Sunday. "Americans in every state and across the political spectrum support rules that ban ISPs from blocking, throttling, and prioritizing web traffic". The idea was that all Internet traffic should be treated equally by broadband providers.

Still, supporters have hoped to force a public vote on the issue, because with midterm elections looming some lawmakers might be swayed as net neutrality is a resonant issue with voters.

The order went into effect on June 11.

Net neutrality is no longer the law of the land.

Back in February, FCC's new chairman Ajit Pai, who is a former Verizon lawyer, issued a "Restoring Internet Freedom" order in the Federal Registry.

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Under the rules, internet service providers were required to treat all online content the same.

Last month, FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the retraction of net neutrality rules was needed to remove needless and onerous regulations. In reality, the FTC will only be able to enforce a company's own terms and conditions, which won't do anything to stop the spread of paid fast lanes, zero-rating, or anti-competitive behavior across the industry.

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

Today marks an official turning point in internet policy in the United States.

While Portney said it's unclear if or when internet consumers could see pay-to-play package deals for certain internet services, but he says it's likely.

There are many outspoken opponents of the FCC's move, though, including state governments, tech companies, rights groups and attorneys general. Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level.

Other reports by GizPress

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