FCC: Repeal of net neutrality rules takes effect June 11
Perhaps it really is time to bid farewell for good to the net neutrality regulations implemented back in 2015, under the administration of then President Barack Obama. But the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has declared that the proposed repeal of those rules three years ago is taking effect today. While it is true that last month a number of aspects of the proposal had already taken effect, some elements still had to go through approval by the Office of Management and Budget. That step has since been accomplished.
Last December, the FCC had voted to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules. Despite some strong reactions from the public, legal challenges from state attorneys general and public interest organizations, and even a campaign by Democrat Senators to reverse the proposed repeal, the decision eventually stood.
Accordingly, the current chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, was happy with the recent run of things. Pai had vehemently opposed the Obama era net neutrality regulations, saying that those rules actually hindered innovation. He argued recently that the repeal will actually benefit the masses, mainly because authority over web service providers has been handed back to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The 2015 net neutrality regulations were put in place to prevent Internet service companies from blocking websites and mobile apps, effectively discriminating against specific types of web content. The rules also were meant to stop service providers from throttling the transmission speeds of data, and also prohibit paid prioritization, wherein providers can create an Internet fast lane for companies that can afford to pay for special access.
But now that the rules have been repealed, several consumer advocates have expressed concern that broadband service providers now would enjoy being in the sole position to dictate how the information superhighway will be accessed and how much people should pay to gain access (or the extra price to be paid for getting specific benefits).
Other states in America, however, are putting measures in place in order to retain the principles of net neutrality. As a matter of fact, governors from New York and Montana have taken full advantage of executive orders in order to make sure net neutrality is adopted in their respective states. And as of last month, 29 state legislatures have introduced bills designed to maintain net neutrality. But it should also be mentioned that not all of these bills were successfully passed, and some are still even pending until now. Lastly, there are other states who have not done anything yet.