Net Neutrality
Image Courtesy of ACLU
  • The FCC’s repeal of all net neutrality protections has finally gone into effect after six months.
  • While internet users outraged back in December when the repeal was voted for, the internet has been relatively quiet as the changes went live.
  • It is unlikely that ISPs and other internet companies will try anything drastic as the fight to undo the repeal is still ongoing, and critics are monitoring the situation closely.

The repeal to remove all federal net neutrality protections has finally been put into effect. The Federal Communications Commission had voted to repeal the protections in December 2017 and faced widespread criticism by internet users. However, the internet has been relatively quiet in comparison as the changes went live today. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has little reason to celebrate as critics are closely monitoring ISPs and other internet companies to see if they pull any stunts and abuse the laws for corporate benefits.

While the nation-wide net neutrality laws have been repealed, it is likely that State laws will be created to protect consumers from corporate greed and shady practices. Washington is the only state that has net neutrality rules in place, and other states are expected to follow suit and set up laws over the coming months through executive orders.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
Image Courtesy of News Week

The FCC is also facing a number of lawsuits from consumer rights groups as well as state attorneys. The Congress is also against the FCC’s decision to repeal the protection laws and will join hands with the attorneys and rights groups to appeal against the FCC’s decision. A resolution has already been passed by the Senate and will be presented to the FCC in the near future.

If the repeal becomes permanent, ISPs will have the freedom to abuse the relaxed rules and will have the rights to throttle traffic to specific websites as part of corporate tie-ups to create unfair competition or block content and parts of the internet. There have been notable incidents during the pre-net neutrality era that involved ISPs blocking specific services like Facetime or P2P Sharing networks unless users paid a premium on their internet plans to unlock the blocked services.