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The End of Net Neutrality is Here

11 June 2018

The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules was voted on past year, and it finally comes into effect today (June 11).

It was put in place by the Obama Administration but President Trump made a decision to scrap the rule in December. But now there are fewer rules governing how internet service providers can operate.

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Last month, FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the retraction of net neutrality rules was needed to remove needless and onerous regulations.

Pai says he believes the net neutrality rules adopted during the Obama administration discourage internet providers from making investments in their network to provide better, faster online access.

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"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", said Gigi Sohn, a former counselor for the FCC. That decision goes into effect Monday, shifting the authority for policing the broadband industry to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Net neutrality rules were created for two reasons.

Pai argues that the FTC is better equipped to handle the job, but Democrats and net neutrality supporters say that the absence of the rules will give companies like Verizon and Comcast the ability to discriminate against certain websites or boost ones that they're affiliated with. It will head to the State Assembly, where hearings will begin in June and must be voted on by the end of August. Getting the House to vote on the matter requires a special discharge petition to be signed since House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) does not support the motion. Per the net neutrality order, states can not enact any legislation that attempts to circumvent the repeal. 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.

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Ultimately, the FCC said these lawsuits and executive orders will not stop the repeal of the rules.

The End of Net Neutrality is Here