Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Washington is only state to keep net neutrality

Washington is only state to keep net neutrality

The nationwide repeal of "net neutrality" took effect six months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to undo the rules, which had barred broadband and cellphone companies from favoring their own services and discriminating against rivals such as Netflix.

Net neutrality was created to prevent internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down access to specific online services.

The repeal of Net Neutrality took effect Monday. Continue reading to find out what changes today and what lies ahead for the charged issue. That means there is nothing legally stopping a broadband provider from selling faster service at a premium or slowing some content. Also, the Senate voted to save net neutrality, though that effort isn't likely to become law. The longer-term ramifications of a world without net neutrality is what concerns proponents of a fair and open internet - issues like a threat to free flow of information and a hazard to speech rights.

Under the new law, ISPs are required to disclose any blocking, throttling or prioritization of their own content or from their partners on customers' broadband connections. The intention was to keep the internet open and fair. Those on the political left (and about 83 percent of Americans) feel that net neutrality regulations were important for personal freedom and made for a more fair marketplace. ISPs will be under the scanner of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that will be able to investigate if internet providers engage in anti-competitive behavior.

The net neutrality rules were approved by the FCC in 2015 amid an outpouring of online support.

What's the logic behind the new rules, exactly? He believes the repeal of net neutrality is bad news for most consumers, "Internet service providers, at their whim, can do pretty much whatever they want to you".

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To put it simply, internet service providers could start charging companies to ensure their content loads at a decent speed, which is very important if a company is to be successful online.

Meanwhile, as an added "bonus", Verizon and Comcast successfully lobbied the FCC to include language in the repal banning states from trying to protect consumers in the wake of the reduced FCC oversight. "This gives free reign to broadband providers to block or throttle your broadband service as long as they inform you of it". And consumer groups note that should the FCC repeal survive the looming lawsuits, the end result won't be pretty for American consumers. Before the FCC passed the net neutrality rules in 2015, there were already reports that Verizon and Comcast were slowing down Netflix, YouTube, and other services. The measure aims to restore the agency's net neutrality rules as if the repeal had never happened.

Yet, some fear it's also possible internet providers will one day effectively charge customers more to access services like Netflix that are now included as part of your monthly bill.

Other states, including New York, Vermont, and Montana, are using executive orders and various other means of reinstating net neutrality, but at the moment, Washington is the only state to pass a bill protecting it. OR passed similiar legislation, but it won't go into effect until next year, as Motherboard reports.

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