Net neutrality has been repealed. Here's what this means for you

16 December, 2017, 06:01 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler listens to testimony before voting on Net Neutrality at the FCC headquarters

Despite a strong outcry, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to repeal net neutrality.

Watch how the disruption unfolded below.

While the White House expectedly welcomed the voting down of net neutrality rules by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday, the decision appeared headed for legal challenge, with several U.S. states and organisations announcing their plans to go to court within hours.

"The FCC's vote to rip apart net neutrality is a blow to NY consumers and to everyone who cares about a free and open Internet", Schneiderman said in a statement on his office's official site.

Others are under the opposite impression.

This is accurate, but the end of net neutrality is not at all a surefire thing yet (despite the tone of most of the statuses you've probably read).

Bringing this closer to home for those of us in the FGC, this could potentially mean that certain ISPs slow down or throttle websites like Twitch to encourage users to use other streaming platforms, or even go as far as to charge extra for access to sites like Twitch on top of an already established monthly fee for general service.

"The FCC is not killing the internet", Commissioner Brendan Carr said before voting for the new rules. Today's rollback will give ISPs new ways to control what we see, what we do, and what we say online. We live in an age of massive media mergers, and it's going to be trivial for Comcast to prioritize MSNBC on its network, or extend that favor to Vox Media and BuzzFeed, companies in which it has taken significant investment. Allowing Internet service providers to discriminate based on content undermines a free and open Internet.

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The FCC's new rules included a provision that says states can not override the new policies.

The debate that ensued was acrimonious and in Pai's case, personal, with net neutrality activists naming his children on placards hung near his home.

The proposal would not only roll back restrictions that keep broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from blocking or collecting tolls from services they don't like, it would bar states from imposing their own rules.

Politicians were not the only ones up in arms.

However, Pai was adamant that the repeal wouldn't negatively affect consumer.

Santa Clara County threatens legal action to opppse FCC action and preserve "net neutrality" as law of the land. That's why open-internet advocates and millions of internet users and activists will do everything to restore it in the near term and over the long haul. If FCC won't protect free/open internet, we will. Luckily for opponents of the repeal, that publication doesn't happen right away.

Net neutrality was not put into place until 2015 by the Obama Administration, and before that time, there were no legal protections urging ISPs to remain neutral in the web surfing experiences they provided.


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