Net Neutrality Has Been Rolled Back - But It's Not Dead Yet

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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.

Generally, yes. The major broadband providers - AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon - have all said they won't block access to particular internet sites or services, even those that compete against their own offerings.

No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. AT&T has had a contract with Netflix since 2014, but they don't have a contract with Hulu. That means there is nothing legally stopping a broadband provider from selling faster service at a premium or slowing some content. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai continues to suggest that Obama-era rules were "heavy-handed" and they negatively impacted innovation. That order has now gone into effect, which means the net neutrality rules have been canceled.

We reached out to local internet provider, Vast Broadband to see if they are planning on any changes.

Customers of streaming services like Netflix could see their subscription fees rise if the company chooses to pay more.

In a speech on the senate floor on May 9, Thune said regulations needed to come from Congress, not the Federal Communications Commission. "I would love to have one uniform, robust federal standard protecting net neutrality, but given that the FCC has left a void, the states have to fill it". "The combination of no net neutrality and video consolidation creates new bottlenecks that empower the traditional media industry to raise prices and limit online competition". Instead, the agency will only require providers to publicly disclose how they treat internet traffic, and will leave it up to the Federal Trade Commission to make sure they are doing what they said and aren't being anticompetitive. 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.

But net neutrality remains alive and well in Washington, thanks to a bi-partisan bill that was signed into law earlier this year.

But supporters of net neutrality-such as big tech companies like Google and Facebook, as well as consumer groups and pioneers of the internet like World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee-say the internet as we know it may not exist without these protections.

Meanwhile, legal battles against the FCC rollback of net neutrality are still underway. "Our goal is simple: better, faster, cheaper internet access for American consumers who are in control of their own online experience".

Pai calls the FTC the "nation's premier consumer protection agency".

Other states, including New York, Vermont, and Montana, are using executive orders and various other means of reinstating net neutrality, but at the moment, Washington is the only state to pass a bill protecting it. OR passed similiar legislation, but it won't go into effect until next year, as Motherboard reports.