Net neutrality repeal takes effect Monday

Net neutrality ends this Monday June 11th motion to keep it alive could die in the House

Net neutrality ends this Monday June 11th motion to keep it alive could die in the House

The rules initally passed under President Obama, but the FCC under the Trump Administration discarded the rule in December. 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. The FTC can't take action unless something can clearly be proven to be "unfair or deceptive", something that's tricky to do in the net neutrality realm where anti-competitive behavior is often disguised as routine network management.

Supporters of the FCC measure, such as Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), are confident that any effects on the upcoming midterm elections will be minimal.

The debate around net neutrality was immediately politicized. Without net neutrality, large phone and cable companies will control the future of communications, deciding who gets a voice and who doesn't.

What exactly is net neutrality?

As part of this effort, more than 16.5 million pro-net neutrality emails have been sent to Congress.

The Senate passed a measure to preserve the net neutrality rules last month.

"The FTC will once again be able to protect Americans consistently across the internet economy, and the FCC will work hand-in-hand with our partners at the FTC to do just that", Pai wrote in an op-ed column Monday. One specific fear is that smaller companies and startups will not have the same opportunities to grow if ISPs can pick and choose companies and services to favor in what is called "paid prioritization".

Yet critics say that's a mistake, arguing that the FCC has the expertise and ability to regulate the internet industry, given that the agency's bailiwick is communication networks. T-Mobile, for example, was criticized by net neutrality supporters for effectively making it cheaper for customers to stream videos from Netflix and HBO, putting other video services at a disadvantage. Nine in 10 American households use the internet, according to Pew Research Center, for everything from researching recipes, communicating with friends and family by marking themselves "safe" on Facebook or Googling symptoms of a medical issue to see whether a trip to the emergency room is needed. "Consumers want an open Internet".

Not everyone is anxious about net neutrality being repealed, of course.

So net neutrality's path through Congress is an uphill battle, but some are still optimistic that net neutrality will win out in the end.

Others, like Schaub, disagree.

Starting today, the internet is going to be different. But if they start filing lawsuits, we'll know they're full of shit. Several states, including New Jersey, Washington, Oregon and California, have gone so far as to push legislation to enforce the principles of net neutrality within their borders. 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.

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