"We once again call on Congress to pass, this year, a law protecting the core principles of an open internet - no blocking, no throttling, no censorship, no unfair discrimination based on online content - and including robust consumer privacy protections that apply to all entities in the internet ecosystem and no matter how consumers access the internet".
Black says he's nervous the repeal of net neutrality could curb the flow of internet traffic to his website and hurt business. Continue reading to find out what changes today and what lies ahead for the charged issue.
In particular, the repeal that went into place gives ISPs legal permission to create fast and slow lanes online - certain websites and content will load more slowly, while others will be blocked outright. "Consumers want an open Internet. Americans in every state and across the political spectrum support rules that ban ISPs from blocking, throttling, and prioritizing web traffic". It may sound like a miracle, but it's actually just HB 2282, a bill that passed in March that protects net neutrality and a free and open internet.
One of the biggest fears surrounding the end of net neutrality is the potential emergence of internet 'bundles, ' comparable to cable bundles where you pay a certain amount to receive a specific number of popular TV channels - just with popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. instead.
The Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn the Obama-era regulations in December.
Washington's net neutrality rule casts enforcement as a provision of consumer protection in an attempt to avoid stepping into federal telecommunications statutes.
Net neutrality rules which prevented broadband providers from discriminating against certain websites have been officially rolled back in the United States, even as opposition groups fight to save the regulations.
"Net neutrality ensures equal access to online content regardless of who is providing or requesting information", Florian Schaub, an assistant professor at the University of MI who specializes in internet privacy, wrote in a paper recently published in the academic journal Media and Communication. 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.
The revised rules were a win for ISPs, whose practices faced government oversight and FCC investigations under the 2015 order. ISPs may also sue the state, although no lawsuits have yet been reported. T-Mobile, for example, was criticized by net neutrality supporters for effectively making it cheaper for customers to stream videos from Netflix and HBO, putting other video services at a disadvantage.
Individual states have also started taking action against the repeal of net neutrality.
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.