Local business owner fears effects of net neutrality repeal

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Monday, June 11, marks the official end of the USA government's net neutrality rules, which had required broadband providers such as AT&T, Charter and Verizon to treat all Web traffic equally.

The new internet rules came into effect on Monday in the US after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the 2015 Obama administration's much publicised net neutrality rules in December by a 3-2 vote.

In an op-ed for CNET on Monday, Pai wrote that the Obama-era rules requiring internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally were too onerous.

A local business owner is aggravated over the repeal of net neutrality, which means internet providers now have the ability to slow down particular websites, or speed up connections for customers willing to pay more. Such a scenario could be particularly devastating for startups with ambitions of becoming the next Netflix or Hulu, as they will have a much harder time paying ISP fees to compete early on. This means not discriminating or charging differently by user, content website, platform, type, or application.

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Ajit Pai, whom President Trump named to be his new FCC chairman, and who spearheaded the repeal of the net-neutrality rules, killed that inquiry soon after assuming the chairmanship. They don't want their broadband providers blocking websites or censoring content, and this agency gave broadband providers the legal right to do so. If you're a fan of Netflix, for example, net neutrality holds that you should be able to watch its shows without running into impediments your ISP puts up that are created to push you toward a competing service, such as Hulu. Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level.

The Federal Communications Commission said the repeal will remove problematic regulations.

The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal Net Neutrality in December. "We were hopeful that that type of the light regulatory approach we're taking will lead to. better, faster, cheaper Internet access for consumers and more competition particularly".

The flip side is there are many areas where broadband availability is limited to one or two options, giving consumers little or no choice in the matter.

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With the end of net neutrality, Broadband providers insist they won't do anything that harms the "internet experience" for consumers. The Senate last month passed a Congressional Review Act measure 52-47 aiming to overturn the 2017 measure (the CRA is a quick way to overturn newly-passed regulations within 60 legislative days of passage). This, according to Pai, "will allow consumers to make an informed decision about which Internet service provider is best for them".

Pai attempted to bolster the FCC's decision through claims that the new regulations introduces stronger transparency laws and hence more protection for the consumer.

"We need a referee on the field who can throw a flag", former FCC Chairman and Obama appointee Tom Wheeler said at MIT during a panel discussion in support of rules like those he championed.

"If that puts upward pressure on the federal government to enact robust net neutrality rules, then that's a good thing", said Scott Wiener, a Democratic state senator and the bill's chief author.

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