Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

‘Net neutrality’ dies today, except in Washington state

‘Net neutrality’ dies today, except in Washington state

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may have made good today on its promise to kill the net neutrality rules created under the Obama administration, but Washington State isn't having any of it. The house bill passed in February by a 93-5 vote. The measure already passed the Senate. Ahead of the December 14 commission vote that ended those Obama-era net neutrality regulations, current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called those same rules a " heavy-handed, utility-style.mistake" and pledged to stop the federal government from "micromanaging" the internet by introducing a new set of "internet freedom" regulations. In a statement at the time, FCC chairman Ajit Pai framed the upcoming repeal as removing burdensome regulations.

Net neutrality, which once required internet service providers to treat all online content the same, is now gone starting Monday. In 2015, the FCC approved a set of regulations on ISPs. Sure, watching the comedic genius that runs the Wendy's Twitter page absolutely read IHOb to filth over the name change has been entertaining, but Net Neutrality was repealed despite 83 percent of Americans wanting Net Neutrality to remain in place, and it went into effect right under our noses. 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. A petition to force a vote has 170 of the 218 signatures it needs, its sponsor, Representative Mike Doyle, of Pennsylvania, said in an interview on Friday.

Washington's net neutrality rule casts enforcement as a provision of consumer protection in an attempt to avoid stepping into federal telecommunications statutes.

But, experts say not to worry, changes won't come overnight, and might not at come all.

"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", Sohn says.

As it stands, the Internet is soon likely going to function like cable TV, and we're all going to be ecstatic about having to call internet customer service help lines more frequently.

"It's business as usual on the internet today - movies are streaming, e-commerce is thriving, and advocates are using the internet to make their voices heard", said Jonathan Spalter, president of broadband trade group USTelecom with members including AT&T and Verizon. ISPs will be able to charge us more to access sites we now visit for free, cap how much data we're allowed to use, redirect us from sites we are trying to use to sites they want us to use instead (like Bing instead of Google), and block us from being able to access apps, products, and information offered by their competitors or other companies they don't like. Netflix's homepage displayed a classic buffering wheel along with a link to the Internet Association's website.

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