Net neutrality repeal takes effect, but the fight is far from over
13 June, 2018, 19:15 | Author: Regina Lloyd
The general uncertainty around the future of net neutrality is likely to extend through much of this year, according to those pushing for legislation and litigation, if not longer.
To start, activists today will rally to gather support for an effort to use the Congressional Review act to reverse the FCC's repeal with a majority vote in the House and Senate.
No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
An edge provider, for those wondering, is an individual or entity that provides content, applications or services over the internet, or devices for accessing any of those things over the internet, available to end-users, i.e., the consumers. 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. ISPs will be able to charge us more to access sites we now visit for free, cap how much data we're allowed to use, redirect us from sites we are trying to use to sites they want us to use instead (like Bing instead of Google), and block us from being able to access apps, products, and information offered by their competitors or other companies 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.
Though the FCC voted to kill net neutrality last December, the formal repeal didn't take effect until today.
"Our framework will protect consumers and promote better, faster Internet access and more competition", Paid wrote in an op-ed published on CNET on Sunday.
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. They counter that internet providers will slowly and quietly begin manipulating the internet with moves that will change the web from a level playing field to one tilted in favor of big companies.
"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", Sohn says. "You probably won't even notice it happening at first".
Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic FCC commissioner who has been an outspoken net neutrality advocate, said in a statement on Monday that the battle over how the internet is regulated is far from over. "These positive and profound benefits of a free and open internet - among many others - are here to stay".
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