Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Activists Attempt Last Ditch Effort to Save Net Neutrality - Hit & Run

Activists Attempt Last Ditch Effort to Save Net Neutrality - Hit & Run

"The internet is coming for net neutrality".

The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules was voted on past year, and it finally comes into effect today (June 11). Obama-era federal regulations prevented Internet providers from slowing, blocking or charging websites special fees to get their content in front of users.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said last week the rollback will ensure more investment by providers and will ensure "better, faster, and cheaper Internet access and more broadband competition to the American people".

The Republican-majority FCC voted along party lines in December to repeal the regulations, which expired today.

Public protests greeted the Federal Communications Commission's plan to end use of the rules, with many saying it could have an impact on free speech.

A group representing major cable companies and TV networks said Monday that "despite a new round of outlandish claims and doomsday predictions from groups dedicated to stoking political controversy, consumers will be able to see for themselves that their internet service will keep working as always has and will keep getting better". In other words, net neutrality is dead, folks.

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Net neutrality means that Internet providers have to treat everyone equally online.

Two states, OR and Washington, have passed net neutrality laws and 29 states are considering legislation, which could lead to new legal battles over Internet laws.

The CRA passed by the Senate aims to reverse the misleadingly titled "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" that was passed by the Trump-era FCC, led by chairman Ajit Pai.

Under the new rules, the Federal Trade Commission will be the agency to handle complaints about broadband privacy and unfair or deceptive business practices by ISPs. But far more realistically, we're probably going to see some gradual shifts in our service over time, especially since Comcast backed down on its good-faith promise the day the repeal passed and has previously limited access to peer-to-peer applications. "Under that approach, the Internet was open and free", he wrote. Additionally, 22 states' and Washington DC's attorneys general have filed a lawsuit alongside almost a dozen other groups, challenging the FCC decision. According to Wired, Comcast, the nation's largest broadband provider, is momentarily forbidden from violating net neutrality rules under the terms of the government's approval of its 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal.

Net neutrality looks set to live on in piecemeal form as some U.S. states are enacting legislation that will require telecoms companies operating in their territories to abide by similar laws.

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