Net Neutrality Repealed; Local Business Owner Explains What Will Happen Next

Alfred Osborne
June 13, 2018

The new FCC regulations, officially voted on in December but which took effect today, open the door for internet providers to control or censor what content consumers can access online. More importantly, today also signifies the moment when IHOP tricked the entire country into believing they'd changed their name to IHOb to promote seven new and likely very average tasting burger additions to their lunch and dinner menu.

The repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections officially took effect on Monday, almost six months after the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to roll back the rules.

After much delay and plenty of drama, the new FCC rules voted on in that contentious meeting have gone into full effect. 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.

Will I still be able to access Netflix and other online services? Therefore, ISPs could decide to charge Netflix much more than Google to get their content to your connected devices.

Critics, however, say the opposite will happen, arguing that undoing the rules will crowd out smaller businesses and slow innovation.

The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Montana, for example, have each signed executive orders requiring broadband providers with state contracts to be net neutral.

The battle isn't entirely over, though.

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Washington and OR have gone farther, and passed laws that require all ISPs within their borders to offer net neutrality protections.

Also, the Senate voted to save net neutrality, though that effort isn't likely to become law. These new rules are going to affect the way internet providers do business, but how noticeable will the changes be to consumers? "Anything is throttling down or causing slowness, people just move away from that particular company", Mike Tusan said. Comcast, for example, has changed its stated commitments concerning net neutrality and no longer mentions anything about paid prioritization, otherwise known as fast lanes.

Supporters of net neutrality are concerned that without it, we could lose access to a free and open internet. Under net neutrality, internet service providers were classified as utilities instead of information services, and subjected to broad federal regulation.

Black says he's nervous the repeal of net neutrality could curb the flow of internet traffic to his website and hurt business. But other tech companies and many content providers support a neutral internet.

However, in the op-ed Pai does not defend against any of the common arguments for Net Neutrality. If the House votes on and passes the bill before the end of this session, the measure would be sent to President Trump.

"The internet's death will be slow", Greer said.

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