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techkenyot.com July 15, 2018


House vote still looms at Net Neutrality comes to an end

12 June 2018, 02:04 | Hattie Nash

House vote still looms at Net Neutrality comes to an end

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

Ever since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in December to rescind the rules, members of Congress, tech companies, and numerous advocacy groups have fought without success to keep net neutrality in place. He says the rules were too heavy-handed.

Internet providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast had to treat all traffic equally. Under the old policy, any blocking or slowing of websites would directly run afoul of the rules, inviting immediate enforcement. 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.

Happening today: Rules that prevented internet providers (like Comcast) from slowing or speeding up service to some sites (like Netflix) are no longer in effect.

The battle isn't entirely over, though.

There are two main schools of thought as to how the end of net neutrality will affect everyday internet users.

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Internet providers could choose to prioritize their own content and services over those of rivals.

Most now have service terms that specify they won't give preferential treatment to certain websites and services, including their own.

Companies are likely to start testing the boundaries over the next six months to a year.

"The internet is coming for net neutrality".

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", Pai said in a statement last month. The more realistic goal of the act is to put pressure on Republicans ahead of the 2020 elections - only changes in leadership are likely to have an effect on U.S.net neutrality rules.

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Critics of net neutrality, including the Trump administration, say such rules impeded companies' ability to adapt to a quickly evolving internet. "We were hopeful that that type of the light regulatory approach we're taking will lead to. better, faster, cheaper Internet access for consumers and more competition particularly". Broadband providers, he said in an interview, had been "unfairly and inappropriately the target of this angst or fear". For example, an ISP could charge a base fee for basic internet, and $5 extra for a social media package that includes Facebook and Twitter, or a $10 entertainment package that bundles in streaming music as well.

DOJ lawyers have argued that AT&T's deal would lead to higher prices for consumers, especially if the combined company withheld popular channels, like CNN or TNT, until other cable providers paid higher rates to carry them.

More than 20 states sued the government to stop the repeal, as did the public-interest group Free Press, think tank Open Technology Institute and Firefox browser maker Mozilla.

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.

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