Net Neutrality Officially Expired. Now States Are Passing Their Own Laws

Net neutrality ends this Monday June 11th motion to keep it alive could die in the House

The Federal Communications Commission rollback of net neutrality went into effect today.

"Consumers won't notice the shift at first, but over time the internet will become unrecognizable", she said.

Your ability to watch and use your favorite apps and services could start to change - though not right away - following Monday's official repeal of Obama-era internet protections.

"Net neutrality ensures equal access to online content regardless of who is providing or requesting information", Florian Schaub, an assistant professor at the University of MI who specializes in internet privacy, wrote in a paper recently published in the academic journal Media and Communication. The FCC order that just took effect asserts authority to prevent states from pursuing laws inconsistent with the net neutrality repeal.

Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has accused Democrats of "scare tactics" in their opposition to net neutrality repeal. Getting the House to vote on the matter requires a special discharge petition to be signed since House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) does not support the motion.

Hey, remember when there was all of that hubbub about the FCC vote that killed net neutrality?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released some strong statements Monday, the day net neutrality regulations are being rolled back by the Trump administration. As part of this effort, more than 16.5 million pro-net neutrality emails have been sent to Congress.

Washington and OR now have their own net neutrality laws, and a bill is pending in California's legislature. That means there is nothing legally stopping a broadband provider from selling faster service at a premium or slowing some content.

For now, we are in a wait and see mode to see what happens next. Eventually, these extra charges could be passed along to the public. But the push is unlikely to succeed: while a vote in the Senate has put pressure on the House, the larger Republican majority in House is likely to keep things from going any further.

Since late 2017, Free Press, my organization, has joined with other advocacy groups and online companies in calling on Congress to pass a resolution of disapproval that would reinstate the 2015 net neutrality rules. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, governors in six states - New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Hawaii - have signed executive orders upholding net neutrality, and three - Washington, Vermont and OR - have enacted legislation that does so. Supporters of net neutrality have also said that without regulation, a greater socio-economic digital divide could develop, creating a class of information "haves" and "have nots".

"It is a period of profound change", said Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of Pai's chief critics, "and we are also watching a lot of the big get even bigger".

The reality is that what no one knows exactly what the internet will look like moving forward without net neutrality in place.

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