As the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of Obama-era network neutrality rules took effect Monday, Democrats and net neutrality advocates vowed to continue the effort to use a Congressional Review Act resolution to roll back the new FCC rules.
The FCC's repeal of all net neutrality protections has finally gone into effect after six months. Telecoms are now free to block, slow, or otherwise discriminate against online content and services.
"I am committed to protecting a free and open internet, while at the same time making sure there are reasonable standards to protect against unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive practices such as blocking and throttling".
And while net neutrality is polarizing, it is an example of a regulation that both companies and consumers agree on.
ISPs also can't engage in prioritizing traffic for money.
The way we access the internet is about to change.
Paid prioritization: Service providers could not create an internet fast lane for companies and consumers who paid premiums and a slow lane for those who didn't.
Most notably, the repeal removes the Title II classification of broadband internet that put it in line with essential utilities like electricity. "The Internet is coming for net neutrality".
Any changes are likely to happen slowly, as companies assess how much consumers will tolerate. And in May, the Senate voted in favor of reversing the FCC's repeal; however, the measure still needs to be passed in the House of Representatives, where afterwards it will then need President Trump's signature.
Those might sound the same, but in practice they're very, very different. Until now, they were, by law, prohibited from discriminating against their users or websites by blocking, tampering with or slowing down internet traffic.
The net neutrality rules were approved in 2015. But far more realistically, we're probably going to see some gradual shifts in our service over time, especially since Comcast backed down on its good-faith promise the day the repeal passed and has previously limited access to peer-to-peer applications. They're anxious the providers will charge consumers extra to reach particular sites and services in a speedy manner, either by directly billing them or by charging companies like Netflix, which could be expected to pass on the costs to their subscribers.
More than 20 states have sued the FCC to stop the repeal. And California bill moving through the state legislature would go one step beyond that would go one step beyond that by banning all zero-rating programs altogether. 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. Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level.
"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.