Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Your Internet Use Could Change As ‘Net Neutrality’ Ends

The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules took effect today. While the FCC is removing itself from net neutrality regulation, the Federal Trade Commission can try to punish ISPs that make net neutrality promises and fail to keep them. Among the Republican commissioners who voted in favor of the repeal was Pai, Michael O'Reilly, and Brendan Carr. Pai, Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and O'Reilly were appointed by the Obama Administration whereas Carr was a recent Trump appointment.

Some states are trying to ensure that net neutrality is in effect, these states include Washington, Montana, and NY; other states have legislation pending.

"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. 22 states nationwide and D.C. have filed a protective petition for the order's review. "They are not concerned that internet service providers are going to block access to lawful content", he said. But unlike with the issues of blocking or slowing access to internet services, they've been much less definitive on fast lanes.

"Everyone uses the internet and everyone uses these tech platforms", Michelle Connolly, a former FCC official who supports chairman Ajit Pai, previously told CNNMoney.

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", Pai said in a statement at the time.

Consumers won't notice changes any time soon, as the new rules will take a while to take effect. They don't want their broadband providers blocking websites or censoring content, and this agency gave broadband providers the legal right to do so.

In the meantime, some ISPs have promised in the absence of the federal net neutrality rules to not slow data or block it, and with state laws in flux and a federal showdown possible, it's unlikely any would push the envelope at present. He says small business owners like Black, who sells 99% of his product online, could end up losing customers to these large corporations if they pay for a faster website.

The revised rules were a win for ISPs, whose practices faced government oversight and FCC investigations under the 2015 order.

Others, including the governors of Montana and NY, used executive orders to force net neutrality.

But they could start charging extra for services not yet offered.

"America's internet economy became the envy of the world thanks to a market-based approach that began in the mid-1990s", Pai said in a speech at the Mobile World Congress in February.

"At the dawn of the commercial Internet, President [Bill] Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed on a light-touch framework to regulating the Internet".

However, according to the FCC, states don't have the power to make their own policies. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a longtime network neutrality advocate and a member of the Senate Commerce Committee. Here's what we can expect from tomorrow's internet.

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

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