House vote still looms at Net Neutrality comes to an end
Jun 12, 2018, 02:11
The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) was successful in repealing the net neutrality rules that the previous FCC leadership passed in 2015. The first would be protecting users from bias caused by internet providers, who would be able to offer faster services to companies that paid them more.
"Net neutrality ensures equal access to online content regardless of who is providing or requesting information", Florian Schaub, an assistant professor at the University of MI who specializes in internet privacy, wrote in a paper recently published in the academic journal Media and Communication.
Congress attempted to overturn the FCC repeal, passing a resolution to do so with a bipartisan vote in May. 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".
"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.
With net neutrality rules gone, AT&T and Verizon can give priority to their own movies and TV shows, while hurting rivals such as Amazon, YouTube and startups yet to be born. The longer-term ramifications of a world without net neutrality is what concerns proponents of a fair and open internet - issues like a threat to free flow of information and a hazard to speech rights. Such arrangements, known as online "fast lanes" in the eyes of critics, threatened hefty tolls that only the largest businesses could afford to pay, net neutrality advocates warned.
He added that the Federal Trade Commission will work to protect consumers. Numerous commenters urged the FCC to preserve the government's net neutrality protections, which had treated ISPs similar to utilities.
"The American people know they can not trust their internet service providers to do the right thing and protect a free and open internet unless there are strict rules in place", Sen. However, the bill has yet to be voted on in the House. But if they start filing lawsuits, we'll know they're full of shit.
Some lawmakers, states and tech companies are still fighting to save the rule.
A group of 22 states have sued the FCC over the repeal.
But both of these approaches are expected to lead to court challenges by the FCC, whose new policy on net neutrality contains explicit language that tries to preempt states from doing exactly what the legislation and executive orders are meant to do.
"I don't think anything gets better for consumers", said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the five-person commission.
"If that puts upward pressure on the federal government to enact robust net neutrality rules, then that's a good thing", said Scott Wiener, a Democratic state senator and the bill's chief author.
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