FCC Has Repealed Net Neutrality Rules, But Congress Can Reverse The Decision

  • FCC Has Repealed Net Neutrality Rules, But Congress Can Reverse The Decision

FCC Has Repealed Net Neutrality Rules, But Congress Can Reverse The Decision

Net neutrality rules created to ensure equal Internet access formally are set to expire on Monday after a lengthy battle.

The Republican-run Federal Communications Commission voted in December to repeal most of the Obama-era rules, which require internet providers to treat all online traffic equally.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who voted against the repeal, said Monday that the decision put the FCC "on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public".

Q. What else can we expect next?

Ajit Pai, whom President Trump named to be his new FCC chairman, and who spearheaded the repeal of the net-neutrality rules, killed that inquiry soon after assuming the chairmanship.

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", said Pai, per a CNN report.

The order went into effect on June 11.

In practice, individuals will likely end up paying for better service, and companies and websites will pay for their content to load more quickly.

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines in December to repeal the rules, which were meant to prevent internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down access to specific online services. The disclosures are essentially a get-out-of-jail-free card-the new FCC regime specifically allows ISPs to block, throttle, or prioritize content in exchange for payment as long as the ISPs disclose the fact that they're doing so.

Also, the Senate voted to save net neutrality, though that effort isn't likely to become law. "Our transparency rule will also help ensure that any problematic conduct by Internet service providers is quickly identified and corrected". "Democrats are fighting in the courts and in the Congress to protect Americans' interests and restore these vital protections, and we will continue to demand a vote on Congressman Mike Doyle's resolution to force a vote to restore net neutrality".

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.

"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", said Gigi Sohn, a former counselor for the FCC.

The reality is that what no one knows exactly what the internet will look like moving forward without net neutrality in place. Even if the bill passes the House of Representatives, it heads to the White House where chances are almost impossible that President Trump signs the resolution eliminating the first major act of deregulation of his administration. The Senate last month passed a Congressional Review Act measure 52-47 aiming to overturn the 2017 measure (the CRA is a quick way to overturn newly-passed regulations within 60 legislative days of passage).