Net neutrality rules are repealed. Here's what could happen next
Jun 13, 2018, 19:15
The repeal of net neutrality takes the regulation of the internet from the government's hands and places it into the hands of internet providers.
But a battle for votes in the House remains. The Republican-led House, and President Trump, are both thought to be unlikely to back the Senate's measure. 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.
An edge provider, for those wondering, is an individual or entity that provides content, applications or services over the internet, or devices for accessing any of those things over the internet, available to end-users, i.e., the consumers. He believes the repeal of net neutrality is bad news for most consumers, "Internet service providers, at their whim, can do pretty much whatever they want to you".
The FCC changes were passed last December, shepherded by Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who says the new lighter-touch rules are more market-friendly than the "utility-style regulation" in the Obama-era. 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.
"Monday, we are ending this flawed approach and allowing smaller internet service providers to focus their efforts on deploying more broadband, connecting more Americans with digital opportunity, and offering more competition in the marketplace", Pai wrote in a column for CNET published Sunday. Almost 50 more House lawmakers must sign a discharge petition introduced by Congressman Mike Doyle in order to force a vote.
The general uncertainty around the future of net neutrality is likely to extend through much of this year, according to those pushing for legislation and litigation, if not longer. "We agree that internet users should have the freedom to go anywhere on the internet or to run any application with confidence that internet traffic will in no way be blocked or throttled", the organization said in a statement.
Washington's net neutrality rule casts enforcement as a provision of consumer protection in an attempt to avoid stepping into federal telecommunications statutes.
"Nothing will change the next day", says Kevin Werbach, an associate professor of legal studies at Wharton and former FCC adviser.
Net neutrality advocates have heard that argument before and don't buy it.
"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", Sohn says. Mozilla's suit has petitioners including the Computer & Communications Industry Association with members including Google and Amazon.com Inc., and the Internet Association, representing online companies such as Facebook Inc. and Netflix Inc.
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