FCC Has Repealed Net Neutrality Rules, But Congress Can Reverse The Decision

Demonstrators rally in support of net neutrality outside a Verizon store in New York

While the now-defunct net neutrality rules didn't specifically address interchange disputes, they did give the FCC broad latitude to oversee the "general conduct" of broadband providers to determine if the companies were being anticompetitive or interfering with customers' ability to access internet sites and services. Under those regulations, broadband service was considered a utility under Title II of the Communications Act, giving the FCC broad power over internet providers.

The FCC's abandonment of net neutrality laws, voted on past year, finally takes effect today. Continue reading to find out what changes today and what lies ahead for the charged issue. "Americans in every state and across the political spectrum support rules that ban ISPs from blocking, throttling, and prioritizing web traffic". The industry is moving towards faster internet speeds like never before, while the internet remains open, without any of the kinds of paid priority, zero-rating or service bundling that plagues the cable industry. "But over time, unless net neutrality is restored, the Internet as we know it will wither and die". This bill puts a stop to Obama-era regulatory activism regarding internet service providers (ISP), while at the same time providing narrow authority to the FCC to prohibit ISPs from blocking content to consumers.

Those last two should stick out to you, as they have been key points in the debates surrounding net neutrality rules.

Supporters of net neutrality are pushing state lawmakers to fight the repeal, but Mayer says this cannot be done at the state level.

"Our approach includes strong consumer protections", Pai wrote in his CNET op-ed.

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"Net neutrality ensures equal access to online content regardless of who is providing or requesting information", Florian Schaub, an assistant professor at the University of MI who specializes in internet privacy, wrote in a paper recently published in the academic journal Media and Communication.

Net neutrality is a way to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) treat all online data equally - and former President Barack Obama's administration enacted a law that protected it in 2015. That tactic, which experts call "paid prioritization", runs the risk of creating an uneven playing field where big, dominant Internet companies can afford the fast lanes while start-ups or small businesses get left behind, net neutrality activists say. For example, in March, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, a Democrat, signed a law that effectively replaced the federal rules.

"If the companies decide we don't like this particular organization or what they stand for so we're not going to let it go out to the people that we provide services to". Before the FCC passed the net neutrality rules in 2015, there were already reports that Verizon and Comcast were slowing down Netflix, YouTube, and other services.

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. 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.

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