We gather here today to mark and mourn the death of net neutrality, which, despite a valient fight and 9 million comments to the FCC, officially took its last breath on Monday.at least, if you don’t live in Washington state, where, as soon net neutrality died, it was immediately reborn.
Led by current Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC voted 3-2 in December to repeal the Obama-era open internet rules. Although the direct effects of the repeal are unknown, companies will have to assess how much change consumers will tolerate, according to the Associated Press.
The agency said the regulations were unnecessary and unhelpful, but critics counter that internet service providers will now have too much control over the flow of online content. In his view, removing the rule will open the floodgates to corporate investment, ultimately providing faster and more widespread internet access. The disclosures are essentially a get-out-of-jail-free card-the new FCC regime specifically allows ISPs to block, throttle, or prioritize content in exchange for payment as long as the ISPs disclose the fact that they’re doing so. It also meant that companies could not give preferential treatment to their own content; for example, Comcast, which owns NBC, could not treat the content from NBC more favourably than that of a competitor. Or they could block websites or apps that offer competing services to their own. The rule stipulates that every ISP must clearly disclose their practices to consumers and that the Federal Trade Commission will regulate any ISP that imposes unfair or deceptive practices.
After President Donald Trump appointed a new chairman to the FCC, the agency reversed its stance on zero rating and proceeded to kill net neutrality. Call our state representatives, call our senators, cry ourselves to sleep, pay more for services we love dearly and hope that our congress does something to right this wrong.
Some states are trying to ensure that net neutrality is in effect, these states include Washington, Montana, and NY; other states have legislation pending.
And while a new administration in 2020 could, in theory, return the rules back to what they were, a more permanent decision still lies with Congress.
If the broadband providers do end up creating fast lanes – or even slowing or blocking traffic – they likely won’t do so right away. And California bill moving through the state legislature would go one step beyond that would go one step beyond that by banning all zero-rating programs altogether. Senate Democrats forced a vote to restore net neutrality through the Congressional Review Act in May.
The net neutrality rules were approved in 2015.
That may sound annoying for Netflix users, but it’s easy to imagine farther-reaching consequences given the ubiquity of the internet, which now functions more like electricity than an information service.