Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

‘Net neutrality’ dies today, except in Washington state

‘Net neutrality’ dies today, except in Washington state

The Federal Communications Commission said the repeal will remove problematic regulations. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has little reason to celebrate as critics are closely monitoring ISPs and other internet companies to see if they pull any stunts and abuse the laws for corporate benefits.

The new FCC regulations, officially voted on in December but which took effect today, open the door for internet providers to control or censor what content consumers can access online. Continue reading to find out what changes today and what lies ahead for the charged issue.

Without net neutrality, it technically becomes legal, for example, for an internet provider like Comcast to give preferential treatment to a video service like Hulu, which it owns, while slowing down other services like Netflix - and that would obviously be undesirable for Comcast subscribers who use Netflix.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who voted in favor of repealing net neutrality, said on CBS This Morning the "Restoring Internet Freedom" rule will be "tremendously positive" for consumers.


But the FCC's outgoing rules already allowed broadband providers leeway to create special data channels for such services where the net-neutrality provisions wouldn't apply.

The Federal Communications Commission's rules preventing Internet service providers from blocking or slowing legal traffic, or charging for faster delivery of some content, passed with much fanfare in 2015, are history as of Monday.

But supporters of net neutrality-such as big tech companies like Google and Facebook, as well as consumer groups and pioneers of the internet like World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee-say the internet as we know it may not exist without these protections.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you've heard about the impending death of net neutrality. "They're not going to roll out harmful paid prioritization plans, site blocking or throttling right away".


For anyone who hasn't been following, net neutrality is the concept of treating all internet traffic the same, no matter where it originates from. However, the internet has been relatively quiet in comparison as the changes went live today. "But it has sparked an unprecedented backlash from across the political spectrum, and internet users are coming out of the woodwork to fight tooth and nail in Congress, in the courts, and at the local and state level".

However, while Pai has focused on how the new rules require ISPs to be transparent "about their network management practices", he hasn't touched on some of the most criticized aspects of the repeal: the ability to throttle, prioritize, or block content and internet access.

"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. And states like NY have signed executive orders to keep net neutrality in place. 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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