Net Neutrality Has Been Rolled Back - But It's Not Dead Yet

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Net Neutrality Has Been Rolled Back - But It's Not Dead Yet

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines in December to repeal the rules, which were meant to prevent internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down access to specific online services. For the first time in many markets, ISPs will face real competition for your home internet service.

Net neutrality was repealed previous year under an order called the "Restoring Internet Freedom" order. On Thursday, with the official repeal date looming, dozens of senators sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on the issue. Under Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC classified broadband internet as a Title II service, putting it in line with utilities like telephone service and electricity.

Still, supporters have hoped to force a public vote on the issue, because with midterm elections looming some lawmakers might be swayed as net neutrality is a resonant issue with voters.

"ISPs could curate what online content and services most people will have access to, and which ones will only be available to those who are willing to and can afford to pay extra", Schaub added.

The FTC would theoretically file lawsuits against ISPs that make net neutrality promises and then break them.

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

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", Pai said in a statement last month. If the only providers that can serve state governments are those that observe net neutrality, these states reason, then it could shape what services consumers are offered, too. 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.

"Plain and simple, thanks to the FCC's rollback of net neutrality, internet providers have the legal green light, the technical ability, and business incentive to discriminate and manipulate what we see, read, and learn online", said Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC commissioner, in a statement Monday. Critics of the repeal, passed in December, claim that these regulations were necessary to prevent abuse to consumers by big internet service providers such as as Comcast and Verizon.

The California state Senate passed a net neutrality bill on Wednesday. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, governors in six states - New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Hawaii - have signed executive orders upholding net neutrality, and three - Washington, Vermont and OR - have enacted legislation that does so. Even if the bill passes the House of Representatives, it heads to the White House where chances are almost impossible that President Trump signs the resolution eliminating the first major act of deregulation of his administration.

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