FCC chairman: New order will protect a free and open internet

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The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules was voted on previous year, and it finally comes into effect today (June 11).

Net neutrality was created to prevent internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down access to specific online services.

This change has raised fears that companies like Comcast would suddenly start slowing down services like Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, etc.

The rules also barred a broadband provider from, say, slowing down Amazon's shopping site to extract business concessions.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said the agency under Obama overstepped its authority when it imposed the 2015 regulations.

It could mean service providers will charge their customers more. "The consumer is going to be protected and we preserve the incentive for companies to build out better, faster, and cheaper internet access". The end of the rules comes as House Democrats are pressing for a resolution to reinstate them. Last month, the Senate passed a last-ditch effort to overturn the FCC's repeal, but it never progressed to a House vote and was officially repealed Monday. In fact, some have made clear they want to have the freedom to prioritize certain kinds of traffic over others. "Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate", Pai said in a November 2017 proposal.

Two states, OR and Washington, have passed net neutrality laws and 29 states are considering legislation, which could lead to new legal battles over Internet laws.

Lori Miller, with activist group Indivisible Rapid City, believes dumping Net Neutrality was a mistake.

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"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", Fight for the Future Deputy Director Evan Greer said in a statement. "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". Congress is still fighting to uphold net neutrality, and states continue to find ways to enact their own laws regarding the controversial regulations.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done - at least for now. Violations of their promises - or behaviors that threaten competition or consumers - now fall under the watch of the Federal Trade Commission, not the telecom-focused FCC.

The official repeal of net neutrality is now in effect.

The fate of net neutrality is likely to last throughout the remainder of the year, if not longer based on the push for legislation. And states like NY have signed executive orders to keep net neutrality in place. Over 20 state attorneys have filed lawsuits to block the repeal.

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