FCC Officially Repeals Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules

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Today marks the first day of a post-net neutrality world, one in which rules introduced during the Obama administration under previous FCC chairman Tom Wheeler are officially repealed.

That's unclear because these new rules are giving internet service providers, like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T, a chance to experiment with novel revenue streams. It may also make it harder for the next generation of online services to compete if they have to pay up to be placed in a so-called internet fast lane.

What's more, internet advocates have always been concerned that if broadband providers are able to create so-called fast lanes to particular sites and services, they will in effect slow down traffic to all other locations on the internet.

With the end of net neutrality, Broadband providers insist they won't do anything that harms the "internet experience" for consumers. "Our transparency rule will also help ensure that any problematic conduct by Internet service providers is quickly identified and corrected". They couldn't slow down or block websites and apps of their choosing.

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While internet users outraged back in December when the repeal was voted for, the internet has been relatively quiet as the changes went live.

Last month, the Senate voted 52-47 in favor of keeping net neutrality, but the vote was mostly symbolic, as the final decision had to be passed through the Republican majority House of Representatives.

"We once again call on Congress to pass, this year, a law protecting the core principles of an open internet - no blocking, no throttling, no censorship, no unfair discrimination based on online content - and including robust consumer privacy protections that apply to all entities in the internet ecosystem and no matter how consumers access the internet". This, according to Pai, "will allow consumers to make an informed decision about which Internet service provider is best for them".

"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight For the Future, in a statement Monday.

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"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.

"There is widespread agreement among senators from both parties that we need to maintain a free and open internet", Thune said.

Some big ISPs have said they have no plans to throttle internet traffic. Comcast, for example, has changed its stated commitments concerning net neutrality and no longer mentions anything about paid prioritization, otherwise known as fast lanes.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you've heard about the impending death of net neutrality.

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On May 16, the U.S. Senate, where Republicans hold only a narrow majority, voted 52 to 47 to overturn the decision by the FCC - which is now composed of three Republicans and Rosenworcel. In January, attorneys general in 22 states and the District of Columbia filed a protective petition for review of the order.

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