"Plain and simple, thanks to the FCC's rollback of net neutrality, internet providers have the legal green light, the technical ability, and business incentive to discriminate and manipulate what we see, read, and learn online", said Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC commissioner, in a statement Monday.
The Federal Communications Commission repealed the 2015 Obama administration's landmark net neutrality rules in December by a 3-2 vote, sparking a firestorm of criticism on social media websites, opposition from internet firms like Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), and protests among Democrats in the Republican-controlled Congress.
But while ISPs think they've scored a major victory here by convincing Ajit Pai and the Trump FCC to ignore the public, ignore the experts, and cuddle up to telecom duopolies, this policy middle finger aimed squarely at consumers is likely to result in a policy and political backlash they're going to be navigating for years. It also gives them the freedom to charge people more money for faster access, which would likely make the entire internet slower for everyone else.
No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
Customers of streaming services like Netflix could see their subscription fees rise if the company chooses to pay more.
"Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality", she continued. While the FCC is removing itself from net neutrality regulation, the Federal Trade Commission can try to punish ISPs that make net neutrality promises and fail to keep them.
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However, in the op-ed Pai does not defend against any of the common arguments for Net Neutrality. He says small business owners like Black, who sells 99% of his product online, could end up losing customers to these large corporations if they pay for a faster website. Per the net neutrality order, states can not enact any legislation that attempts to circumvent the repeal. Under net neutrality, internet service providers were classified as utilities instead of information services, and subjected to broad federal regulation. After an intense marketing and lobbying campaign, internet companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast convinced the FCC to allow them to slow or restrict access to certain websites. Additionally, 22 states' and Washington DC's attorneys general have filed a lawsuit alongside almost a dozen other groups, challenging the FCC decision.
"The internet is coming for net neutrality".
That's two months later than expected but way too soon for supporters of the Obama-era measures, who are suing and pushing for Congressional measures to bring back the so-called net neutrality rules.
The California state Senate passed a net neutrality bill on Wednesday.
Today marks the official first day of a Net Neutrality-free America.