Net Neutrality Lives on in Washington State After FCC Kills It

Ajit Pai chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, pauses while speaking during an open meeting in Washington D.C. U.S. on Thursday Nov. 16 2017

Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, FCC On Track To Remove Rules As Scheduled

Supporters of net neutrality rules-which require internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all online content equally-are aiming to convince House Speaker Paul Ryan and additional Republicans to support a Congressional Review Act (CRA) that would overturn the FCC's party-line vote.

In Washington, though, House Bill 2282 went into effect Monday night. "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".

No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. The idea was to keep the internet open and uncensored.

Public protests greeted the Federal Communications Commission's plan to end use of the rules, with many saying it could have an impact on free speech.

"Internet service providers now have the power to block websites, throttle services and censor online content", Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic member of the commission who voted against the repeal, said in an emailed statement to the New York Times.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done - at least for now. In reality, the FTC will only be able to enforce a company's own terms and conditions, which won't do anything to stop the spread of paid fast lanes, zero-rating, or anti-competitive behavior across the industry.

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. ISPs formerly made the case that net neutrality failed to allow them to recoup the costs incurred in linking their networks to content providers, often citing Netflix, which consumes a double-digit percentage of all Internet traffic in the United States during peak hours. However, Congress can still pass a law to simply reverse the repeal or even improve on the previous net neutrality rules. Legislation in other states, like California and NY, is still proceeding and likely to be as strict as Washington's.

In the wake of the FCC's repeal of its net neutrality rules, several states have adopted their own protections.

And while a new administration in 2020 could, in theory, return the rules back to what they were, a more permanent decision still lies with Congress.

But, in December, the FCC voted to repeal the rules.

But here are a few tactics that have been tried before that have drawn scrutiny under the old net neutrality rules.

E-commerce start-ups have feared that they could end up on the losing end of paid prioritization, with their websites and services loading more slowly than those run by internet behemoths.

The general uncertainty around the future of net neutrality is likely to extend through much of this year, according to those pushing for legislation and litigation, if not longer.

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