The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of the net neutrality rules took effect today, leaving broadband providers in most states free to censor sites and slow down apps. On Thursday, with the official repeal date looming, dozens of senators sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on the issue. There have been notable incidents during the pre-net neutrality era that involved ISPs blocking specific services like Facetime or P2P Sharing networks unless users paid a premium on their internet plans to unlock the blocked services.
But Republicans at the FCC maintain that existing law is sufficient to guard against misbehavior, even as telecom companies gobble one another up.
The battle isn't entirely over, though.
"The FCC will not have the last word when it comes to net neutrality, the American people will", he said. "Some of the politicians who've been grandstanding on this issue have been misinforming the public", the chairman said, pointing to Senate Democrats who tweeted for months that an end to net neutrality would cripple Web speeds. He says small business owners like Black, who sells 99% of his product online, could end up losing customers to these large corporations if they pay for a faster website.
Most now have service terms that specify they won't give preferential treatment to certain websites and services, including their own. This information will allow consumers to make an informed decision about which internet service provider is best for them and give entrepreneurs the information they need as they develop new products and services.
The US has officially repealed rules that governed the way net providers treated the data that travelled across their networks. But companies are likely to start testing the boundaries over the next six months to a year.
"Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality", she continued.
As you surf the internet, you might not notice anything different. If you're a fan of Netflix, for example, net neutrality holds that you should be able to watch its shows without running into impediments your ISP puts up that are created to push you toward a competing service, such as Hulu. Such a scenario could be particularly devastating for startups with ambitions of becoming the next Netflix or Hulu, as they will have a much harder time paying ISP fees to compete early on. This year the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the FCC's decision on killing net neutrality, but this was seen as a largely symbolic victory. In fact, some have made clear they want to have the freedom to prioritize certain kinds of traffic over others. In reality, the FTC will only be able to enforce a company's own terms and conditions, which won't do anything to stop the spread of paid fast lanes, zero-rating, or anti-competitive behavior across the industry.