Would you rather have net neutrality or an open internet?

Ceria Alfonso
Junio 13, 2018

The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal Net Neutrality in December.

The regulations required internet providers to treat all lawful traffic the same, without creating paid premium lanes for some services or slowing others.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who voted against the repeal, said Monday that the decision put the FCC "on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public". Continue reading to find out what changes today and what lies ahead for the charged issue. In his view, removing the rule will open the floodgates to corporate investment, ultimately providing faster and more widespread internet access.

The FCC did away with rules barring internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to online content.

The fear is not totally irrational; in Portugal, where there is no net neutrality law, internet providers have already started offering bundles that include various combinations of websites; a music bundle, a social bundle, a messaging bundle, a video bundle etc. Users can still access all the sites without paying for the bundle - but if you do, you risk going over your data quota, and if you do, well, you'll have to cough up extra funds.

"Under the Federal Communications Commission's Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which takes effect Monday, the internet will be just such an open platform".

Furthermore, the ISPs could also throttle or even block competing services.

"It's patently illegal for the states to make their own internet policy", said Roslyn Layton, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who served on President Trump's transition team for the FCC. "But over time, unless net neutrality is restored, the Internet as we know it will wither and die". After all, the rules on net neutrality have changed multiple times already - six times in the last 10 years, in fact.

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Supporters of net neutrality are pushing state lawmakers to fight the repeal, but Mayer says this cannot be done at the state level. Others point out that the FTC, which oversees consumer protection for every corner of the US economy, already has its hands full.

"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", Gigi Sohn, a counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and a staunch supporter of net neutrality, told CNNMoney.

A collection of advocacy groups has called for "mass online actions" on June 11 to once again call attention to the issue and pressure Congress to act.

The FCC is nearly certain to challenge Washington as the agency asserted preemption, in which federal laws have precedent over state ones.

Providers have said they won't block or throttle legal websites, but have left open the potential for charging more for transport of some data.WATCH: What is net neutrality?

A group of 22 states sued the FCC over the repeal.

A group representing major cable companies and TV networks said Monday that "despite a new round of outlandish claims and doomsday predictions from groups dedicated to stoking political controversy, consumers will be able to see for themselves that their internet service will keep working as always has and will keep getting better". More than 20 states have filed lawsuits to stop the repeal, and a number of states have pushed legislation to enforce net neutrality within its borders.

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