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Net Neutrality Repeal Ends Chances of Regulations

12 June 2018

The Federal Communications Commission's rules preventing Internet service providers from blocking or slowing legal traffic, or charging for faster delivery of some content, passed with much fanfare in 2015, are history as of Monday.

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

In the days of net neutrality, internet service providers were not allowed to block access to any website - unless that website was in breach of the law.

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. On Thursday, with the official repeal date looming, dozens of senators sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on the issue. "In 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC-the nation's premier consumer protection agency- of its authority over internet service providers". "And in the medium- to long-term, I think we're going to see more investment in high-speed networks, particularly in rural areas that are hard to serve". After all, the rules on net neutrality have changed multiple times already - six times in the last 10 years, in fact. We still don't and won't block, throttle or discriminate against lawful content. Even some technology companies joined the fight to preserve net neutrality, including Mozilla and Vimeo.

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Without net neutrality, internet providers may pursue similar offers more aggressively. Now control over regulating the internet moves from the FCC to the Federal Trade Commision FTC.

Net neutrality means that Internet providers have to treat everyone equally online. "And under the Federal Communications Commission's Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which takes effect Monday, the internet will be just such an open platform".

There's also no mention in Pai's op-ed about how the two largest ISPs in the nation - Comcast and Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner Cable) - score incredibly low in both customer service and value from Consumer Reports.

"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.

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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.

With the end of net neutrality, Broadband providers insist they won't do anything that harms the "internet experience" for consumers.

The rule passed under President Obama, but the Trump administration scrapped it in December.

"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", said consumer group Fight for the Future. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, governors in six states - New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Hawaii - have signed executive orders upholding net neutrality, and three - Washington, Vermont and OR - have enacted legislation that does so.

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Another misleading ISP claim is that they want to get rid of Title II, and not net neutrality rules in general.

Net Neutrality Repeal Ends Chances of Regulations