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Net neutrality officially ends today
14 June 2018, 12:29 | Jodi Jackson
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Yet critics say companies are likely to invest simply because they now believe they can ramp up prices and earn more money from consumers and websites. I think the airlines can do that.
As of Monday morning, net neutrality no longer exists. The repeal of net neutrality is also good for consumers, says Pai, because it puts authority over ISPs back into the hands of the FTC.
Having visited many states and small-town America, he reported that many people felt they were "on the wrong side of the digital divide ..."
Beginning Monday, however, the US government no longer explicitly prohibits those practices.
Pai says Internet service will become cheaper and faster with the rules now gone. Democrats quickly charged that Pai had ignored roughly 22 million comments that flooded the agency as part of its official deliberations.
The net neutrality rules were approved in 2015. Pai's children even faced harassment over the repeal. Among other things, the net neutrality rules required internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content.
Will I still be able to access Netflix and other online services? Consumer groups have charged that when zero-rating plans are used to promote services owned by the broadband providers, or by companies that pay the providers to market them, they are akin to fast lanes. Others point out that the FTC, which oversees consumer protection for every corner of the USA economy, already has its hands full. The FCC's new rules also require ISPs disclose publicly any blocking or throttling they engage in, as well as reveal any deal in which they prioritize traffic. "But it has sparked an unprecedented backlash from across the political spectrum, and internet users are coming out of the woodwork to fight tooth and nail in Congress, in the courts, and at the local and state level". Frank Pallone, N.J., the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in an interview. "But starting today they have the legal ability to do so at any time they choose". But those rules don't cover every provider in those states, just those that do business with those states' governments.
Lyons said he thinks the likelihood of actual harm from net neutrality is relatively remote, and that laws that already exist to regulate corporations, like anti-trust regulations, will prevent ISPs from behaving badly.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a vocal supporter of the Obama-era rules, reiterated her criticism of the repeal.
In California, lawmakers hope a proposal making its way through the legislature could force the U.S. Congress to settle the issue with a long-elusive federal standard.
The fees would be paid by the video services, such as Hulu, and could be passed along to consumers in higher subscription rates.
The verdict on the merger could have broad significance.
"We've empowered the FTC to take action against any company that might act in any competitive way", Pai said.
Rob Frieden: These companies are not charities and they certainly are looking to diversify, to create new profit centers, and their innovation is largely in marketing. How deeply future legislation might protect net neutrality will largely depend on which representatives are writing and voting on it, which means upcoming elections are very important for the fate of net neutrality. Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, and Google went from small startups to global tech giants.
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