Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends

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Last month, the Senate passed a measure to preserve the net neutrality rules. Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's essentially how the internet has worked since its inception. What's more, five Democratic governors have issued executive orders barring their states from doing business with a broadband firm that violates the principals of net neutrality. Chances are they were saying that to make it more likely that the FCC's rules would be repealed, or so they could support a bill with much weaker regulations and perhaps even some benefits for the ISPs.

More than 20 states have filed a lawsuit to stop the net neutrality repeal.

The debate around net neutrality was immediately politicized.

Some lawmakers, states and tech companies are still fighting to save the rule.

For instance, both the ISPs and the FCC have claimed that net neutrality has hurt investment. 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.

Net neutrality is no longer the law of the land.

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And how will repealing net neutrality affect me?

So far, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have passed net neutrality legislation and California's Senate passed a net neutrality bill last month. Pai says this system lets the FTC focus on "the bad apples" and allows other players "thrive in a free market".

E-commerce start-ups have feared that they could end up on the losing end of paid prioritization, with their websites and services loading more slowly than those run by internet behemoths. If you're a fan of Netflix, for example, net neutrality holds that you should be able to watch its shows without running into impediments your ISP puts up that are created to push you toward a competing service, such as Hulu. The ISPs are essentially breaking that contract with the users when they start picking and choosing which services to deliver at normal speed. Pai and his colleagues will have to defend their decision before judges likely to be skeptical of the FCC's rationale for destroying open-internet protections and putting nothing else in their place.

Not everyone is anxious about net neutrality being repealed, of course.

Others, like Schaub, disagree. New online services will have a hard time competing if they have to pay to be in the "fast lane".

"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. For example, an ISP could charge a base fee for basic internet, and $5 extra for a social media package that includes Facebook and Twitter, or a $10 entertainment package that bundles in streaming music as well. "You want access to the whole Internet?"