Published: Mon, June 11, 2018

Efforts to save net neutrality continue as internet protections officially end

Efforts to save net neutrality continue as internet protections officially end

The Federal Communications Commission rollback of net neutrality went into effect today. There were some exceptions (emergency services, mostly), but for the most part, the rules made it illegal for ISPs to slow down (throttle) internet traffic based on content, so long as the data was legal.

The rule passed under President Obama, but the Trump administration scrapped it in December.

This isn't something that ISPs did before net neutrality rules took effect, and proponents of the repeal argue that the open market will work itself without the rules in place.

Pai says that by deregulating the internet service provider industry, there will now be "strong consumer protections" and that "entrepreneurs [will get] the information they need as they develop new products and services".


Some lawmakers, states and tech companies are still fighting to save the rule. His order, touted as promoting investment and broadband deployment, loosens the FCC's regulation of ISPs, and instead gives the Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction to enforce violations. Supporters of net neutrality have also said that without regulation, a greater socio-economic digital divide could develop, creating a class of information "haves" and "have nots". Lawsuits and "mass online actions" will slow the pace of any changes as companies will want to see how it all plays out. New online services will have a hard time competing if they have to pay to be in the "fast lane". It will head to the State Assembly, where hearings will begin in June and must be voted on by the end of August. Many Democrats say the issue will help motivate younger people to vote in congressional elections this November, when all 435 seats in the House and a third of the 100-member Senate will be up for grabs. The idea was to keep the internet open and uncensored.

The revised rules were a win for ISPs, whose practices faced significant government oversight and FCC investigations under the 2015 order. 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. Additionally, 22 states' and Washington DC's attorneys general have filed a lawsuit alongside almost a dozen other groups, challenging the FCC decision.

"Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality", she continued.

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