Net neutrality officially ends today


There were some exceptions (emergency services, mostly), but for the most part, the rules made it illegal for ISPs to slow down (throttle) internet traffic based on content, so long as the data was legal. Ahead of the December 14 commission vote that ended those Obama-era net neutrality regulations, current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called those same rules a " heavy-handed, utility-style.mistake" and pledged to stop the federal government from "micromanaging" the internet by introducing a new set of "internet freedom" regulations.

Public protests greeted the Federal Communications Commission's plan to end use of the rules, with many saying it could have an impact on free speech.

Pai's FCC has eliminated rules that prohibited Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful Internet traffic. The Internet & Television Association said over the summer that it supported net neutrality but did not believe that the Obama-era regulations promote it. In other words, net neutrality is dead, folks. "The consumer is going to be protected and we preserve the incentive for companies to build out better, faster, and cheaper internet access".

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In May, congress overturned the repeal with a bipartisan vote in the Senate. That means no speeding up or slowing down connection speeds, and no blocking of specific websites. Now Comcast Cable president Dave Watson posted a blog post today to reconfirm Comcast's "committed to an open internet".

For now, we are in a wait and see mode to see what happens next. In most circumstances, a bill does not reach the floor of the House of Representatives until voted out of the committee in which it was assigned.

While it's unclear what the repeal will look like for consumers in the USA, advocacy group Free Press has cited numerous examples of behaviors pre-dating net neutrality laws in advocating against the repeal.

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"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", said Pai, per a CNN report. ISPs would only be punished by the FCC if they fail to disclose what the commission used to consider net neutrality violations.

Pai, who is a former attorney for Verizon, doubled down on his stance that repealing net neutrality rules was the right call.

The Obama Era laws protecting net neutrality are finally gone. According to Wired, Comcast, the nation's largest broadband provider, is momentarily forbidden from violating net neutrality rules under the terms of the government's approval of its 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal.

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