Monday, 10 December, 2018

Net neutrality repeal takes effect, but the fight is far from over

Net Neutrality Rollback Official Net neutrality repeal takes effect, but the fight is far from over
Oscar Goodwin | 13 June, 2018, 03:47

A new set of rules at the Federal Communications Commission went into effect Monday, ending consumer protections that assure equal legal broadband access that doesn't slow or block certain sources. Moving forward, the FCC no longer has the full authority to police bad behavior by broadband monopolies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, thanks to the Trump FCC's decision to gut classification of ISPs as common carriers.

Critics counter internet service providers will now have too much control over the flow of online content. The repeal will also let ISPs charge websites or online services for priority access to consumers.

The battle isn't entirely over, though.

"Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality", she continued.

"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. In his view, removing the rule will open the floodgates to corporate investment, ultimately providing faster and more widespread internet access. Led by its then-Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler, the FCC approved rules that banned the blocking and slowing of Web content by Internet providers. "Anything is throttling down or causing slowness, people just move away from that particular company", Mike Tusan said.

The Senate passed a measure to preserve the net neutrality rules last month. Nothing is likely to change overnight - if nothing else, the public attention will keep telecoms companies in line for the next few months - but FCC chairman and dubious memer Ajit Pai has taken the opportunity to publish a dubious op-ed in CNET with a bunch more claims that don't add up.

For anyone who hasn't been following, net neutrality is the concept of treating all internet traffic the same, no matter where it originates from. This is typically used by streaming audio and video services for mobile devices to provide a benefit to their subscribers by reducing cellular data use.

This change has raised fears that companies like Comcast would suddenly start slowing down services like Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, etc. Some states are creating their own net neutrality rules, but are barred by the FCC from implementing them.

Martin said broadband providers probably won't mess with existing services like Netflix, as that could alienate consumers. It would also increase costs for consumers, as content providers were forced to pass along fees.

More than 20 states sued the government to stop the repeal, as did the public-interest group Free Press, think tank Open Technology Institute and Firefox browser maker Mozilla.

Other state's are trying to follow Washington's example.

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