Your internet use could change as ‘net neutrality’ ends

  • Your internet use could change as ‘net neutrality’ ends

Your internet use could change as ‘net neutrality’ ends

Net neutrality rules enacted under former President Barack Obama expired Monday, completing a move a year ago by the Federal Communications Commission to end the protections.

"At the dawn of the commercial Internet, President [Bill] Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed on a light-touch framework to regulating the Internet".

With Net Neutrality coming to an end, there are fewer rules governing how internet service providers can operate.

Of course as he's done all along, FCC boss Ajit Pai is trying to paint a decidedly different picture of what the repeal actually does.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who voted in favor of repealing net neutrality, said on CBS This Morning the "Restoring Internet Freedom" rule will be "tremendously positive" for consumers. He says the rules were too heavy-handed.

"Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality", she continued.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done - at least for now. The longer-term ramifications of a world without net neutrality is what concerns proponents of a fair and open internet - issues like a threat to free flow of information and a hazard to speech rights.

And how will repealing net neutrality affect me?

As part of this shift, oversight of internet protections will shift from the FCC to the Federal Trade Commission. It may sound like a miracle, but it's actually just HB 2282, a bill that passed in March that protects net neutrality and a free and open internet. New online services will have a hard time competing if they have to pay to be in the "fast lane". Eventually, these extra charges could be passed along to the public. On Thursday, with the official repeal date looming, dozens of senators sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on the issue. That tactic, which experts call "paid prioritization", runs the risk of creating an uneven playing field where big, dominant Internet companies can afford the fast lanes while start-ups or small businesses get left behind, net neutrality activists say.

Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat on the FCC, said in prepared remarks Saturday that the FCC had puts itself "on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public". Others, including the governors of Montana and NY, used executive orders to force net neutrality.

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. Ahead of the December 14 commission vote that ended those Obama-era net neutrality regulations, current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called those same rules a " heavy-handed, utility-style.mistake" and pledged to stop the federal government from "micromanaging" the internet by introducing a new set of "internet freedom" regulations.