Net neutrality rollback enacted

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

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

Telecom companies have long supported a rollback of regulations. Additionally, 22 states' and Washington DC's attorneys general have filed a lawsuit alongside almost a dozen other groups, challenging the FCC decision.

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

Zero-rating programs weren't specifically barred under the now-defunct net neutrality protections. "That idea sits at the foundation of internet services, reflects how consumers enjoy the internet today, and despite claims to the contrary, has never truly been in jeopardy". The principle was born as regulators, consumer advocates and internet companies voiced concern about what broadband companies could do with their power as the gateway to the internet - blocking or slowing down apps that rival their own services, for example. As a result, the internet could become more like the TV networks, where you pay for different packages of internet services. However, without Title II, the FCC was no longer able to regulate ISPs due to a lawsuit that Verizon brought against the FCC to revoke the 2010 basic net neutrality rules.

Why was net neutrality repealed?

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful Internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement Thursday. "So issues that are coming up right now, people are seeing from a very personal perspective". It will then be evaluated based on whether or not the activity is anti-competitive.

"At the FCC, we have a transparency rule where every company in the USA has to disclose their business practices, and the Federal Trade Commission is empowered to take action against any company who engages in any anti-competitive conducts", Pai said.

Advocacy groups continue to fight.

Net neutrality gave the FCC authority over internet providers, which now is being handed back to the Federal Trade Commission, Pai wrote in an article for CNET.

And how will repealing net neutrality affect me?

Critics say service providers now have too much control over online content.

Paid-prioritization, enables ISPs to charge access fees to content providers like Google, Facebook, and Netflix in order to send content to consumers. "Our framework will protect consumers and promote better, faster internet access and more competition".

The repeal could also change how customers are billed for services, both for good and bad. If you're a fan of Netflix, for example, net neutrality holds that you should be able to watch its shows without running into impediments your ISP puts up that are created to push you toward a competing service, such as Hulu.

Without net neutrality, internet providers may pursue similar offers more aggressively. 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?

Net neutrality ended six months after the FCC voted to scrub the previous rules, despite widespread public opposition to the decision.

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

In the wake of the FCC's repeal of its net neutrality rules, several states have adopted their own protections.

This local legislation could lead to a legal showdown, however. Originally, it was expected the rules would take effect in April, but the Office of Management and Budget needed additional time to vet the new regulations.

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