Net neutrality officially ends today

Net neutrality officially ends today

A big, sudden shift would piss off a lot of people, including politicians, and perhaps bolster the ongoing effort to get net neutrality back.

Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, bucked the law, ignored public opinion and twisted the facts to make his ill-advised case for handing control of the internet to the anti-competitive cabal of giant phone and cable companies that control broadband access in the United States.

Repealing the rules would be good for consumers, he added, because it would lift regulations that stopped some telecoms companies investing.

Here's what it means and what's really at stake.

Organizations that fought to preserve net neutrality say the battle isn't over.

The rule passed under President Obama, but the Trump administration scrapped it in December.

"I support a free and open internet", claims the FCC boss that just demolished rules protecting a free and open internet. That means no speeding up or slowing down connection speeds, and no blocking of specific websites.

This change has raised fears that companies like Comcast would suddenly start slowing down services like Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, etc. Any change to how it's regulated is a hot button issue. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he wants to return to a "light-touch" regulatory framework for the internet and is kicking authority to police broadband companies over to the FTC. "So issues that are coming up right now, people are seeing from a very personal perspective". Under the new policy, a violation might occur when regulators find out that an Internet provider has been blocking websites without saying so. Pai says this system lets the FTC focus on "the bad apples" and allows other players "thrive in a free market".

But consumer advocacy groups have been less than optimistic.

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Some lawmakers, states and tech companies are still fighting to save the rule. We still don't and won't block, throttle or discriminate against lawful content. Such arrangements, known as online "fast lanes" in the eyes of critics, threatened hefty tolls that only the largest businesses could afford to pay, net neutrality advocates warned.

But net neutrality supporters say that without the rules, the industry will be able to wield an alarming amount of influence over the internet.

"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", Sohn says.

Nor could they charge Netflix and other video services extra to reach viewers more smoothly. Several states, including New Jersey, Washington, Oregon and California, have gone so far as to push legislation to enforce the principles of net neutrality within their borders. Initially, this might be viewed as a positive by consumers looking to save money on their streaming media.

Is there a chance the repeal is, well, repealed?

Washington and OR now have their own net neutrality laws, and a bill is pending in California's legislature.

Wikimedia Today, United States Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Brian Schatz (D-HI), in partnership with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), announced that the U.S. Senate would vote on May ...

Why was net neutrality repealed?

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