US net neutrality rules expire

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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.

As already noted, today's the day that the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules are officially eliminated. Continue reading to find out what changes today and what lies ahead for the charged issue. They don't want their broadband providers blocking websites or censoring content, and this agency gave broadband providers the legal right to do so.

But net neutrality remains alive and well in Washington, thanks to a bi-partisan bill that was signed into law earlier this year.

ISPs also can't engage in prioritizing traffic for money. Brendan Carr, a Republican member of the FCC, said on Twitter: "Americans are passionate about the free and open internet".

One of the biggest fears surrounding the end of net neutrality is the potential emergence of internet 'bundles, ' comparable to cable bundles where you pay a certain amount to receive a specific number of popular TV channels - just with popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. instead. But like many ardent net neutrality supporters, Schaub said he thinks it will take a while for the repeal to trickle down to customers, saying it will be more like "small and creeping changes rather than sudden shifts".

What's the logic behind the new rules, exactly?

Without Net Neutrality, internet providers can pick and choose which sites they grant access to and at which speeds, opening the door to censorship.

Pai calls the FTC the "nation's premier consumer protection agency".

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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.

"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", Gigi Sohn, a counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and a staunch supporter of net neutrality, told CNNMoney. But those rules don't cover every provider in those states, just those that do business with those states' governments.

"ISPs could curate what online content and services most people will have access to, and which ones will only be available to those who are willing to and can afford to pay extra", Schaub added.

However, according to the FCC, states don't have the power to make their own policies. Before the FCC passed the net neutrality rules in 2015, there were already reports that Verizon and Comcast were slowing down Netflix, YouTube, and other services.

Martin said broadband providers probably won't mess with existing services like Netflix, as that could alienate consumers.

"Following the decision to repeal net neutrality, many Americans anxious that the internet would turn into what cable-tv is: a set of options based on price and preference".

Net Neutrality, a term coined by Columbia University media law professor and former NY state lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu, is a rule where all telecommunication companies must treat all data equality and may not discriminate or charge differently.

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