Consumers’ Internet Use Could Change As ‘Net Neutrality’ Ends

Danny Woods
June 12, 2018

Opponents say this gives Internet providers the power to block competitors and new technologies.

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the 2015 Obama administration's landmark net neutrality rules in December by a 3-2 vote, sparking a firestorm of criticism on social media websites, opposition from internet firms like Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), and protests among Democrats in the Republican-controlled Congress.

"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", Gigi Sohn, a counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and a staunch supporter of net neutrality, told CNNMoney. The more realistic goal of the act is to put pressure on Republicans ahead of the 2020 elections - only changes in leadership are likely to have an effect on neutrality rules. We still don't and won't block, throttle or discriminate against lawful content. Opponents of the net neutrality law - including big broadband providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast - argued that getting rid of net neutrality would lead to new investment and a more open and competitive internet.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done - at least for now. 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 the op-ed, Pai says that repealing Net Neutrality "will protect consumers and promote better, faster internet access, and more competition" while simultaneously preserving the internet as "an open platform where you are free to go where you want".

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As of Monday morning, net neutrality no longer exists. Supporters of net neutrality have also said that without regulation, a greater socio-economic digital divide could develop, creating a class of information "haves" and "have nots".

"In the House, we'll need 218 lawmakers to sign on to a "discharge petition" in order to force a vote past leadership to the floor", the coalition's website outlines. A third rule banned the practice of paid prioritization, or the offering of the Internet "fast lanes". Almost two dozen states and several companies have sued the government to try and preserve the rules.

There is also 5G internet being rolled out later this year that will bring new wireless home internet options. It's a major turning point for Internet policy and the Web as a whole, as broadband providers will enjoy additional freedom to seek new ways of making money in a rapidly changing market.

Companies willing to pay more of these fees are essentially given higher priority, which means you could see a rise in subscriptions rates or monthly fees from content providers to offset the costs of these fees. Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level.

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