Net Neutrality Officially Expired. Now States Are Passing Their Own Laws

Jun 14, 2018, 15:02
Net Neutrality Officially Expired. Now States Are Passing Their Own Laws

Ajit Pai, whom President Trump named to be his new FCC chairman, and who spearheaded the repeal of the net-neutrality rules, killed that inquiry soon after assuming the chairmanship.

'They don't want to add fuel to the fire, ' Martin said.

A more urgent battle is brewing in several states, which are passing their versions of net neutrality rules in defiance of the federal repeal. "Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate", Pai said in a November 2017 proposal. "This was a loss for consumers and a mistake we have reversed", Pai wrote. "But then in 2015, the FCC chose a different course". The rules that were repealed banned ISPs from blocking websites or apps; ISPs were also banned from throttling or slowing down data due to the nature of content if that content was legal.

What's Everyone so Worried About? It also gives them the freedom to charge people more money for faster access, which would likely make the entire internet slower for everyone else.

Another major concern is that consumers could suffer from pay-to-play deals. The rules also restricted ISPs from charging extra for certain traffic, creating so-called fast lanes for companies and consumers. This means that if a consumer doesn't like the service their local ISP offers, they have no other company to choose instead. The rollback took effect officially on Monday. In Montana and NY, governors signed executive orders that uphold the Obama-era net neutrality regulations. In other words, net neutrality is dead, folks.

"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight For the Future, in a statement Monday. In fact, since "net neutrality" and the government's regulation of the internet was implemented by the Obama administration without Congressional authority, investment in the internet has dropped by 5%, which translates to $3 billion in lost investment in only two years. Pai said, "The United States is simply making a shift from pre-emptive regulation, which foolishly presumes that every last wireless company is an anti-competitive monopolist, to targeted enforcement based on actual market failure or anti-competitive conduct".

Across the country, state officials have moved to keep net neutrality rules in place on their turf. Under the new policy, a violation might occur when regulators find out that an Internet provider has been blocking websites without saying so.

For now, broadband providers insist they won't do anything that would harm the "internet experience" for consumers. "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".

Democratic lawmakers who are opposed to the repeal took to social media, promising to reinstate the regulations.

Pai, who is a former attorney for Verizon, doubled down on his stance that repealing net neutrality rules was the right call.

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