Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends

Rally organizers carry away props following a protest outside the Federal Communication Commission building in Washington D.C. against the end of net neutrality rules on Dec. 14 2017 Net Neutrality Officially Expired. Now States Are Passing Their Own Laws
Priscilla Morrison | 12 June, 2018, 03:34

Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has accused Democrats of "scare tactics" in their opposition to net neutrality repeal. For the first time in many markets, ISPs will face real competition for your home internet service. Last month, the FCC received the required approval from the Office of Management and Budget in order to keep with the June 11 schedule.

On May 16, the U.S. Senate, where Republicans hold only a narrow majority, voted 52 to 47 to overturn the decision by the FCC - which is now composed of three Republicans and Rosenworcel.

"I support a free and open internet", claims the FCC boss that just demolished rules protecting a free and open internet. After all, the rules on net neutrality have changed multiple times already - six times in the last 10 years, in fact.

Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon and Comcast have a great deal of freedom over how they conduct their business.

"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.

More news: Amazon expands Whole Foods discounts to 10 states

Washington and OR have gone farther, and passed laws that require all ISPs within their borders to offer net neutrality protections.

In a press release Monday, the FCC said the repeal does away with "unnecessary, heavy-handed regulations" and replaces them with "common-sense regulations that will promote investment and broadband deployment".

"Net neutrality ensures equal access to online content regardless of who is providing or requesting information", Florian Schaub, an assistant professor at the University of MI who specializes in internet privacy, wrote in a paper recently published in the academic journal Media and Communication. The repeal will also let ISPs charge websites or online services for priority access to consumers. Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's essentially how the internet has worked since its inception.

E-commerce start-ups have feared that they could end up on the losing end of paid prioritization, with their websites and services loading more slowly than those run by internet behemoths. But what's more likely to occur are subtle changes to your Internet experience that you may or may not notice. Supporters argued that without net neutrality, Americans would lose access to a free and open internet, while those who were against the policy said it stifled innovation in the telecommunications industry. And three other states, California, New York and IL, plan to pass their own versions soon.

Critics of net neutrality, including the Trump administration, say such rules impeded companies' ability to adapt to a quickly evolving internet. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, governors in six states - New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Hawaii - have signed executive orders upholding net neutrality, and three - Washington, Vermont and OR - have enacted legislation that does so.

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