Net Neutrality is Officially Over

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FCC chairman Ajit Pai

by @todotvnews the 12/06/2018
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Six months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the Obama-era policy, the changes have formally taken effect and providers once again have free ruling over internet traffic. 

The discussion over net neutrality has been going on for what appears to be forever, but now, just six months after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the Obama-era policy, the changes have formally taken effect.

This means that the rules that made sure Internet service providers didn't have complete control over internet traffic and the ability from treating online traffic differently have been lifted.

Now, providers could choose to potentially slow down certain websites and apps or charge more to rivals, although major corporations have insisted customers’ experiences will not change.

Although the decision set off a massive consumer backlash and warnings from the press, the FCC stood by its decision claiming these were "unnecessary and heavy-handed regulations", that were to be replaced by "common-sense regulations" that will promote investment and favor consumers.

"At the dawn of the commercial internet, President Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed on a light-touch framework to regulating the internet. Under that approach, the internet was open and free," said FCC chairman Ajit Pai in an op-ed published in CNET.

"Network investment topped $1.5 trillion. Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, and Google went from small startups to global tech giants. America's internet economy became the envy in the world," added the chairman, noting that fewer regulations helped the Internet grow and flourish.

However, net neutrality is still fighting the good fight, with some US states enacting legislation that will require companies operating in their territories to abide by similar laws. Washington’s law on treating data equally went into force as the federal rules expired. And three other states, California, Illinois and New York plan to pass their own versions soon.

Furthermore, last month the Senate passed a petition that would allow Congress to overrule the FCC and re-enshrine net neutrality, although its future as it heads to the House of Representatives is uncertain at best.

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