Net Neutrality Repeal Takes Effect

by Wendy Davis @wendyndavis

The Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of the net neutrality rules took effect today, leaving broadband providers in most states free to censor sites and slow down apps.

The repeal, dubbed the “Restoring Internet Freedom Order,” which took effect today, also allows Comcast, AT&T and other broadband providers to charge companies like Netflix and Amazon higher fees for prioritized delivery.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who spearheaded the deregulatory move, says the repeal will improve broadband service. “Our goal is simple: better, faster, cheaper internet access for American consumers who are in control of their own online experience. And that’s what the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order will deliver,” he writes in a new op-ed.

Pai also says that a different agency — the Federal Trade Commission — will “police internet service providers for anticompetitive acts and unfair or deceptive practices.”

Despite the repeal, some internet service providers have said they will continue to follow net neutrality principles. “It’s business as usual on the internet today — movies are streaming, e-commerce is thriving, and advocates are using the internet to make their voices heard,” Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of the broadband industry group USTelecom, stated today. “These positive and profound benefits of a free and open internet — among many others — are here to stay.”

But many advocates expect that sooner or later, broadband providers will act in ways that would have violated the former rules.
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