Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, FCC On Track To Remove Rules As Scheduled

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What's more, internet advocates have always been concerned that if broadband providers are able to create so-called fast lanes to particular sites and services, they will in effect slow down traffic to all other locations on the internet.

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines in December to repeal the rules, which were meant to prevent internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down access to specific online services.

A collection of advocacy groups has called for "mass online actions" on June 11 to once again call attention to the issue and pressure Congress to act. Yet critics say companies are likely to invest simply because they now believe they can ramp up prices and earn more money from consumers and websites.

So net neutrality's path through Congress is an uphill battle, but some are still optimistic that net neutrality will win out in the end. Led by its then-Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler, the FCC approved rules that banned the blocking and slowing of Web content by Internet providers.

Washington and OR have gone farther, and passed laws that require all ISPs within their borders to offer net neutrality protections.

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", said Pai, per a CNN report. But other tech companies and many content providers support a neutral internet.

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Probably not. You won't even see the direct effects of this repeal immediately.

In essence, the rules attempted to ensure a level playing field so that ISPs wouldn't favor their own services (in particular streaming video) over those by third parties by throttling and charging extra for certain traffic.

Those things include blocking sites they don't like, throttling the speeds of legal internet traffic, and creating "fast lanes" for higher-paying customers like big corporations. Meanwhile, at least 29 states have pending legislation that would require ISPs to uphold net neutrality rules, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. We're also waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will agree to hear a separate lawsuit on net neutrality.

ISPs' required disclosures "will allow consumers to make an informed decision about which Internet service provider is best for them and give entrepreneurs the information they need as they develop new products and services", Pai wrote.

"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", said consumer group Fight for the Future. So far, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have passed net neutrality legislation and California's Senate passed a net neutrality bill last month.

That's two months later than expected but way too soon for supporters of the Obama-era measures, who are suing and pushing for Congressional measures to bring back the so-called net neutrality rules.

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