Net Neutrality Is Finally, Actually Dead

Source Flickr Commons

Source Flickr Commons

While the now-defunct net neutrality rules didn't specifically address interchange disputes, they did give the FCC broad latitude to oversee the "general conduct" of broadband providers to determine if the companies were being anticompetitive or interfering with customers' ability to access internet sites and services.

Net neutrality, which once required internet service providers to treat all online content the same, is now gone starting Monday.

The FCC said it had repealed the rules because they restrained broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast from experimenting with new business models and investing in new technology.

While major internet service providers say the web will remain essentially unchanged after net neutrality rules are rolled back, according to consumer reports, there are a few things consumers should keep an eye out for once the deregulation takes effect. AT&T has had a contract with Netflix since 2014, but they don't have a contract with Hulu.

The chairman hasn't talked about any of those incidents where the ISPs discriminated against content by blocking websites or apps that could be their competitors or how their decision to offer paid and fast lanes to big companies could kill the innovation that is being heralded as the victor of this repeal. That means it fell under "common carrier" rules established to protect equal access to the service.

"It's an uphill fight", says Chris Lewis, VP of Public Knowledge, a tech advocacy group that has urged the House to take action.

One day after the net neutrality changes, a federal judge is set to rule on Tuesday on whether AT&T can buy Time Warner.

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Some states are trying to ensure that net neutrality is in effect, these states include Washington, Montana, and NY; other states have legislation pending.

In Monday's op-ed, he repeated his argument that the internet thrived without net neutrality rules in place for most of its existence. 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.

The US has officially repealed rules that governed the way net providers treated the data that travelled across their networks. "You want access to the whole Internet?"

Paid prioritization: Service providers could not create an internet fast lane for companies and consumers who paid premiums and a slow lane for those who didn't. And three other states, California, New York and IL, plan to pass their own versions soon.

Why was net neutrality repealed?

Others point out that the FTC, which oversees consumer protection for every corner of the US economy, already has its hands full. Some consumers fear a slower Internet and higher costs for broadband delivery.

Net Neutrality, a term coined by Columbia University media law professor and former NY state lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu, is a rule where all telecommunication companies must treat all data equality and may not discriminate or charge differently. But even so, we are likely to see some changes in the near future.

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