Tuesday, 19 June, 2018


Net Neutrality Is Officially Gone. Here's How This Will Affect You

FCC Ajit Pai FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
Conrad Doyle | 12 June, 2018, 03:47

The state bill went into effect as soon as net neutrality expired on a federal level (which happened today), and it will prevent internet service providers from creating "slow" and "fast" lanes on the internet. To commemorate the occasion, FCC chairman Ajit Pai - the man mainly responsible for the repeal of Net Neutrality - penned an op-ed piece for CNET in which he champions the dissolution of internet regulations. Under the new guidelines, ISPs can block, throttle, or prioritize internet content as much as they like, as long as they clearly disclose to customers that that's what they're doing. But in December, the FCC switched broadband back to a Title I classification, giving the FTC some of the regulatory authority the FCC previously had over ISPs and negating the legal authority the FCC had to ban practices like blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

Enacted in 2015, the rules sought to stop providers giving preferential treatment to sites and services that paid them to accelerate their data.

There are many outspoken opponents of the FCC's move, though, including state governments, tech companies, rights groups and attorneys general.

There are two main schools of thought as to how the end of net neutrality will affect everyday internet users.

To put it simply, internet service providers could start charging companies to ensure their content loads at a decent speed, which is very important if a company is to be successful online. Even some technology companies joined the fight to preserve net neutrality, including Mozilla and Vimeo.

Net Neutrality protections prohibited internet providers from favoring or blocking access to particular products or websites.

Pai told CBS that he doesn't believe regulating the internet in the same way phone networks are regulated is the best way to achieve the goal of a "free and open" internet.

To take a classic example, this means Comcast couldn't just choose to slow down a service like Netflix to make its own streaming video service more competitive, nor could it try to squeeze Netflix to pay more money to be part of a so-called internet fast lane.

Pai's primary defense of the FCC's new lax rules on ISPs is the "transparency rule", which requires ISPs to notify consumers of any policies that violate previous Net Neutrality guidelines. Or they could block websites or apps that offer competing services to their own.

The Internet Association said Monday that the "internet industry remains committed to restoring net neutrality protections through the courts, legislation, and administrative action". 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. Some states, like New Jersey, Washington, and California, have been actively working on state laws that would keep net neutrality alive within their jurisdictions.

And while net neutrality is polarizing, it is an example of a regulation that both companies and consumers agree on.

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