Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends

Brenda Watkins
June 12, 2018

Advocates of net neutrality fear without the rules in place, internet providers will have too much control over web content. If you're interested in letting your representatives know where you stand on net neutrality and how you'd like them to vote, you can see a tally of who has and hasn't agreed to support net neutrality here.

But Trump's pick to run the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, called those rules "heavy-handed" and vowed to end them. Under a new plan, the Federal Trade Commission will police the ISPs.

Under the new law, ISPs are required to disclose any blocking, throttling or prioritization of their own content or from their partners on customers' broadband connections.

"Poll after poll after poll after poll shows large majorities of Republican voters in opposition to the FCC's repeal", Karr pointed out. "Consumers want an open Internet".

"We'll see what happens after the [midterm] election", Lewis says.

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The 2015 order subjected internet providers to strict regulations by the FCC, arguing consumers needed protection from internet provider practices and said internet providers could engage in "just and reasonable conduct". However, the bill has yet to be voted on in the House. So far, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have passed net neutrality legislation and California's Senate passed a net neutrality bill last month.

"I don't think anything gets better for consumers", said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the five-person commission. And the regulations expired on Monday. "That idea sits at the foundation of internet services, reflects how consumers enjoy the internet today, and despite claims to the contrary, has never truly been in jeopardy". So let's be honest: "this is bad", she said. "This misguided decision awoke a sleeping giant, because the American public is demanding action".

Your ability to watch and use your favorite apps and services could start to change - though not right away - following Monday's official repeal of Obama-era internet protections. 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. Per the net neutrality order, states can not enact any legislation that attempts to circumvent the repeal.

Organizations that fought to preserve net neutrality say the battle isn't over.

Broadband companies have said that they will still continue to uphold the Net Neutrality principles but some Net Neutrality supporters say that it's not enough to just trust all the companies.

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