Those on the political left (and about 83 percent of Americans) feel that net neutrality regulations were important for personal freedom and made for a more fair marketplace. "For example, we empower the Federal Trade Commission to police internet service providers for anticompetitive acts and unfair or deceptive practices", Pai wrote. Want access to Facebook and Twitter? Now Comcast Cable president Dave Watson posted a blog post today to reconfirm Comcast's "committed to an open internet".
"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight For the Future, in a statement Monday. These providers often serve rural and lower-income areas where better internet access and competition are most desperately needed.
Wood: It's interesting, because you're describing bundles that, while we may pay more for them, are going to sound consumer-friendly at first. The new rules are, effectively, the absence of old rules: starting today, internet service providers (ISPs) can do a few big things they were previously not allowed to do.
For now, broadband providers insist they won't do anything that would harm the "internet experience" for consumers.
In essence, the rules attempted to ensure a level playing field so that ISPs wouldn't favor their own services (in particular streaming video) over those by third parties by throttling and charging extra for certain traffic. Consumer groups have charged that when zero-rating plans are used to promote services owned by the broadband providers, or by companies that pay the providers to market them, they are akin to fast lanes.
OR also enacted a net neutrality law, signed in April and that goes into action in 2019, but it only restricts state agencies and other public bodies from contracting with network providers that don't meet non-discriminatory provisions. Almost two dozen states and several companies have sued the government to try and preserve the rules.
In 2015, the Title II Order reclassified the internet as a telecommunications service, which is regulated like a public utility. Twenty-three attorneys general, along with various technology associations, consumer watchdogs and companies including Mozilla, are now suing to reinstate the former rules. Under its principles, Internet providers shouldn't interfere with your ability to reach the websites, apps or services of your choice.
Perhaps the repeal won't change the direction of the internet.
"At the FCC, we have a transparency rule where every company in the USA has to disclose their business practices, and the Federal Trade Commission is empowered to take action against any company who engages in any anti-competitive conducts", Pai said.