Net neutrality rules are now repealed: What it means


"The fight to restore net neutrality rules has new urgency today and moving forward as we continue to work in the House of Representatives to repeal the FCC's awful decision".

The repeal of "net neutrality" took effect six months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to undo the rules, which had barred broadband and cellphone companies from favoring their own services and discriminating against rivals such as Netflix.

Net neutrality is the idea that your internet service provider (ISP) can't change their speed on sites they don't support: It doesn't matter if you're looking at The Washington Post or Str8UpGayPorn, your ISP can't throttle your speed so your porn loads super-slowly, and if your ISP is a fan of Trump, they can't block the WaPo.

A group representing major cable companies and TV networks said Monday that "despite a new round of outlandish claims and doomsday predictions from groups dedicated to stoking political controversy, consumers will be able to see for themselves that their internet service will keep working as always has and will keep getting better".

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. Obama-era federal regulations prevented Internet providers from slowing, blocking or charging websites special fees to get their content in front of users. FCC chairman Ajit Pai joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss why he thinks the rollback is "tremendously positive" for consumers. For instance, an ISP can't allow one streaming video service to pay for a faster lane than is standard, to provide an ostensible better experience to the service's customer.

Several states are enacting their own rules, or are in the process of adopting net neutrality rules. Comcast, for example, has changed its stated commitments concerning net neutrality and no longer mentions anything about paid prioritization, otherwise known as fast lanes.

Some states are trying to ensure that net neutrality is in effect, these states include Washington, Montana, and NY; other states have legislation pending.

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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.

As of Monday morning, net neutrality no longer exists. And consumers latch on to this notion of "free unlimited", and if you look at the fine print, the carriers give with one hand and they take with the other.

The 2015 order subjected internet providers to strict regulations by the FCC, arguing consumers needed protection from internet provider practices and said internet providers could engage in "just and reasonable conduct".

Lori Miller, with activist group Indivisible Rapid City, believes dumping Net Neutrality was a mistake. So far, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have passed net neutrality legislation and California's Senate passed a net neutrality bill last month.

"Our approach includes strong consumer protections", Pai wrote in his CNET op-ed.

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