Personal internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends

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The Federal Trade Commission will be able to investigate if internet providers engage in anticompetitive behaviour.

Without the net neutrality rules, and in the context of a non-competitive ISP market in the United States, many fear that the ISPs will start charging websites additional fees depending on the type of content they serve through the ISPs' networks. 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. The rules also barred a broadband provider from, say, slowing down Amazon's shopping site to extract business concessions.

Since it is now legal for companies to speed up and slow down their services as they wish, customers could be forced to choose between an overall slower service or higher costs.

The change comes as broadband and cellphone providers expand their efforts to deliver video and other content to consumers.

The battle isn't entirely over, though.

More than 20 states have filed a lawsuit to stop the net neutrality repeal.

Last month, the Senate voted 52-47 in favor of keeping net neutrality, but the vote was mostly symbolic, as the final decision had to be passed through the Republican majority House of Representatives.

"Internet service providers now have the power to block websites, throttle services and censor online content", Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic member of the commission who voted against the repeal, said in an emailed statement to the New York Times. Most have service terms that specify they won't give preferential treatment to certain websites and services, including their own.

Opinion polls show overwhelming public support for the net neutrality rules. Nothing is likely to change overnight - if nothing else, the public attention will keep telecoms companies in line for the next few months - but FCC chairman and dubious memer Ajit Pai has taken the opportunity to publish a dubious op-ed in CNET with a bunch more claims that don't add up.

FCC chair, Ajit Pai says Net Neutrality prevented providers like Verizon or Comcast from expanding their networks.

But consumer advocates say that the repeal is just pandering to big business and that cable and phone giants will now be free to block access to services they don't like. It may also make it harder for the next generation of online services to compete if they have to pay up to be placed in a so-called internet fast lane. Tech companies such as Netflix, Spotify and Snap echoed similar concerns in regulatory filings.

Yet, some fear it's also possible internet providers will one day effectively charge customers more to access services like Netflix that are now included as part of your monthly bill.

"If the companies decide we don't like this particular organization or what they stand for so we're not going to let it go out to the people that we provide services to".

OR also enacted a net neutrality law, signed in April and that goes into action in 2019, but it only restricts state agencies and other public bodies from contracting with network providers that don't meet non-discriminatory provisions.

That's another reason companies are likely to move slowly, at least at first. He once said they were based on "hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom".

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