Net Neutrality Is Finally, Actually Dead

Mark Zuckerberg chief executive officer of Facebook holds a press conference at their headquarters

Pai says that the criticism from net neutrality supporters is overheated, that there are sufficient safeguards in place to protect against broadband providers from abusing their control over the internet.

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.

"Internet service providers now have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content", Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat on the commission who voted against the repeal, said in a statement. Want access to Facebook and Twitter?

As of today, Obama-era regulations were rolled back, getting rid of what's known as net-neutrality. These providers often serve rural and lower-income areas where better internet access and competition are most desperately needed.

"We've empowered the FTC to take action against any company that might act in any competitive way", Pai said. The rules also barred a broadband provider from, say, slowing down Amazon's shopping site to extract business concessions.

The proposal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lift what chairman Ajit Pai described as "heavy-handed, utility-style regulations" on broadband internet service providers (ISPs) was first mooted late previous year. A third rule banned the practice of paid prioritization, or the offering of the Internet "fast lanes".

The major broadband operators have said they don't plan to create internet fast lanes.

However, companies are likely to drop these self-imposed restrictions; they will just wait until people aren't paying a lot of attention, said Marc Martin, a former FCC staffer who is now chairman of communications practice at the law firm Perkins Coie. Nor could they charge Netflix and other video services extra to reach viewers more smoothly.

As of late May, 29 state legislatures had introduced bills meant to ensure net neutrality, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Almost two dozen states and several companies have sued the government to try and preserve the rules. Network investment topped $1.5 trillion. Over 20 state attorneys have filed lawsuits to block the repeal.

Groups taking the FCC's side in the case include CTIA, representing mobile providers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc.; and NCTA - The Internet & Television Association, representing cable carriers such as Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc.

Perhaps the repeal won't change the direction of the internet.

A spokeswoman for the FCC previously directed CNNMoney to a section of the final order for net neutrality, in which the FCC asserts authority to prevent states from pursuing laws inconsistent with the net neutrality repeal.

"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.

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