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FCC leader promises better Internet as net neutrality rules expire

FCC leader promises better Internet as net neutrality rules expire

But wait. What exactly is net neutrality?

Across the country, state officials have moved to keep net neutrality rules in place on their turf. Those Obama-era rules prevented ISPs from blocking or slowing legal traffic, or from being paid for prioritized, faster delivery.

The concern among net neutrality advocates is that the repeal could give internet providers too much control over how online content is delivered.

A collection of advocacy groups has called for "mass online actions" on June 11 to once again call attention to the issue and pressure Congress to act. Originally, it was expected the rules would take effect in April, but the Office of Management and Budget needed additional time to vet the new regulations.

Why was net neutrality repealed?

The debate around net neutrality was immediately politicized.

"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", Fight for the Future Deputy Director Evan Greer said in a statement. "But it has sparked an unprecedented backlash from across the political spectrum, and Internet users are coming out of the woodwork to fight tooth and nail in Congress, in the courts, and at the local and state level". A new set of rules at the Federal Communications Commission went into effect Monday, ending consumer protections that assure equal legal broadband access that doesn't slow or block certain sources.

Another misleading ISP claim is that they want to get rid of Title II, and not net neutrality rules in general. Even some technology companies joined the fight to preserve net neutrality, including Mozilla and Vimeo. What's more, five Democratic governors have issued executive orders barring their states from doing business with a broadband firm that violates the principals of net neutrality. In Montana and NY, governors signed executive orders that uphold the Obama-era net neutrality regulations.

How could the net neutrality repeal affect you?

Q. What were the net neutrality rules?

Net Neutrality protections prohibited internet providers from favoring or blocking access to particular products or websites.

The internet probably won't immediately become (more of) a dystopian nightmare.

The Federal Trade Commission will be able to investigate if internet providers engage in anticompetitive behavior.

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", said Pai, per a CNN report. "They now have nearly free reign over what content their subscribers will have access to", he wrote.

To take a classic example, this means Comcast couldn't just choose to slow down a service like Netflix to make its own streaming video service more competitive, nor could it try to squeeze Netflix to pay more money to be part of a so-called internet fast lane. We still don't and won't block, throttle or discriminate against lawful content.

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