Net Neutrality Is Officially Gone. Here's How This Will Affect You

Ajit Pai chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, pauses while speaking during an open meeting in Washington D.C. U.S. on Thursday Nov. 16 2017

Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, FCC On Track To Remove Rules As Scheduled

Today, the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules took effect, meaning internet service providers are no longer required to offer equal access to all web content. 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.

If net neutrality is lost, internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T and Verizon could create special "fast lanes" for content providers willing to pay more. The repeal effectively allows ISPs to block, throttle and prioritize content and internet access as they please. Companies that pay more are essentially given higher priority.

More than 20 states sued the government to stop the repeal, as did the public-interest group Free Press, think tank Open Technology Institute and Firefox browser maker Mozilla. That means no speeding up or slowing down connection speeds, and no blocking of specific websites.

"At the FCC, we have a transparency rule where every company in the USA has to disclose their business practices, and the Federal Trade Commission is empowered to take action against any company who engages in any anti-competitive conducts", Pai said.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who voted in favor of repealing net neutrality, said on CBS This Morning the "Restoring Internet Freedom" rule will be "tremendously positive" for consumers.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done - at least for now. Several states, including New Jersey, Washington, Oregon and California, have gone so far as to push legislation to enforce the principles of net neutrality within their borders. The industry is moving towards faster internet speeds like never before, while the internet remains open, without any of the kinds of paid priority, zero-rating or service bundling that plagues the cable industry.

Supporters of net neutrality say killing the protections lets ISPs charge more and limit online access.

"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", said Gigi Sohn, a former counselor for the FCC. Additionally, 22 states' and Washington DC's attorneys general have filed a lawsuit alongside almost a dozen other groups, challenging the FCC decision.

But here are a few tactics that have been tried before that have drawn scrutiny under the old net neutrality rules.

If there's one thing that both sides can agree on, it's that the internet is increasingly central to our lives.

The Senate voted 52-47 last month to overturn the FCC's plan, but the House, which is doesn't intend to take up the issue-making the Senate's move largely symbolic.

And Democrats are championing the Markey bill, which passed the Senate with the help of three Republicans last month.

Today marks the official first day of a Net Neutrality-free America.

Latest News