FCC chairman celebrates the end of net neutrality with more lies

FCC chairman celebrates the end of net neutrality with more lies

Yesterday marked the end of USA government rules regarding net neutrality, but the new policy faces legal challenges from individual states, some of which have also developed their own rules on the matter.

The FCC said it had repealed the rules because they restrained broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast from experimenting with new business models and investing in new technology. Pai, a Republican, who voted against the 2015 rules enacted under an Obama-era FCC, was appointed chairman by President Trump in January 2017. Such a scenario could be particularly devastating for startups with ambitions of becoming the next Netflix or Hulu, as they will have a much harder time paying ISP fees to compete early on. The repeal will also let ISPs charge websites or online services for priority access to consumers. The rules had previously prevented internet providers from charging more for some content or from giving some [paying] websites preferential treatment. "Their wisest course of action will be to eliminate net neutrality like a slow drip over time in the hope that consumers won't notice and will stop caring". Under Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC classified broadband internet as a Title II service, putting it in line with utilities like telephone service and electricity.

Corporate advocates of net neutrality-which include most Internet-centered firms, like Google, Facebook, Spotify, and Netflix-argue that eliminating net neutrality would reduce competition and innovation, and allow ISPs to offer their own services at an advantage. For now, at least, net neutrality is safe. just as long as you stay in Washington.

Twenty-nine states have since introduced legislation, proposing reinstating some aspects of Net Neutrality.

"Internet service providers spent millions of dollars lobbying the Federal Communications Commission to end net neutrality, and they are certainly going to expect a healthy return on that investment", the ACLU blogged last week.

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A more urgent battle is brewing in several states, which are passing their versions of net neutrality rules in defiance of the federal repeal.

For anyone who hasn't been following, net neutrality is the concept of treating all internet traffic the same, no matter where it originates from.

But net neutrality remains alive and well in Washington, thanks to a bi-partisan bill that was signed into law earlier this year. In 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC - the nation's premier consumer protection agency - of its authority over internet service providers. Internet service providers, or ISPs, deny that they would engage in such a practice - yet consumer watchdogs worry that consumers would have little legal recourse if they did. But even so, we are likely to see some changes in the near future.

Other states, including New York, Vermont, and Montana, are using executive orders and various other means of reinstating net neutrality, but at the moment, Washington is the only state to pass a bill protecting it. OR passed similiar legislation, but it won't go into effect until next year, as Motherboard reports.

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