Net neutrality ends; internet as we know it could change

Net neutrality ends; internet as we know it could change

Obama-era regulations known as net neutrality officially end Monday. Originally put in place by the Obama-era FCC, the regulation prevents ISPs and wireless carriers in the USA from charging streaming content providers for a "fast lane" that would disseminate their media at a faster data speed and at a higher resolution than the competition. Ahead of the December 14 commission vote that ended those Obama-era net neutrality regulations, current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called those same rules a " heavy-handed, utility-style.mistake" and pledged to stop the federal government from "micromanaging" the internet by introducing a new set of "internet freedom" regulations.

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. The first would be protecting users from bias caused by internet providers, who would be able to offer faster services to companies that paid them more. In other words, net neutrality is dead, folks.

On May 16, the U.S. Senate, where Republicans hold only a narrow majority, voted 52 to 47 to overturn the decision by the FCC - which is now composed of three Republicans and Rosenworcel.

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Under the new law, ISPs are required to disclose any blocking, throttling or prioritization of their own content or from their partners on customers' broadband connections.

"It's now as clear as day to every American that - with the exception of three Republicans in the Senate - their Republican representatives in the Congress chose to protect special interests and the biggest corporates over middle-class families, average consumers, entrepreneurs and anyone who relies on the free and open internet", Schumer said. "Any Republican seeking re-election in the fall can't run from this polling data or from the people back home who demand real net neutrality". 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. "Plain and simple, thanks to the FCC's rollback of Net Neutrality, Internet providers have the legal green light, the technical ability, and business incentive to discriminate and manipulate what we see, read, and learn online". However, the bill has yet to be voted on in the House.

The revised rules were a win for ISPs, whose practices faced significant government oversight and FCC investigations under the 2015 order. Opponents say this gives Internet providers the power to block competitors and new technologies. In January, attorneys general in 22 states and the District of Columbia filed a protective petition for review of the order.

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