The FCC Has Repealed Net Neutrality

Companies now control the entire internet and there’s no way to stop them. The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to eliminate its power to ensure net neutrality, effectively paving the way for internet providers to begin charging companies and consumers for faster internet access.

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Ajit Pai is whipping out the memes in a last-minute effort to stir up support for his much-maligned repeal of net neutrality.

Who benefits from the repeal?

The big telecommunications companies including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast are cheering the impending death of the net-neutrality rules, in part because they think the repeal will allow them to make more money and give them more control. Has anyone checked the latest ISP profit & loss? These businesses are not struggling to make a profit.

Who loses?

Normal internet users like you and me would lose out with the repeal of the net-neutrality rules. It won’t happen overnight, but you can expect broadband providers to start limiting what you can access on the internet or charging you more to get to the sites and services you regularly use. Also, entrepreneurs and smaller internet companies — the people and startups pioneering new kinds of services or aiming to be the next Netflix, Google, or Facebook — could lose out if they can’t afford the broadband companies’ potential tolls.

So the fight just began, welcome pre-2015! It’s not that the state of the internet pre-2015 was a disaster (irony) but, prior to the 2015 reclassification, we were already starting to see abuses of net neutrality. When ISP’s and telecoms started to block VoIP traffic because it cut into their phone services, it was unprecedented because no one had really prioritized data based on the content up until that point. Once that started happening and more companies caught on to it, it became a point of contention. While the 2015 reclassification wasn’t a perfect solution, it did encapsulate the gist of the argument by saying that, like phone calls, we can’t prioritize data based on content.

Research

  • FCC/FTC Sign MOU to Coordinate Online Consumer Protection Efforts (FCC)
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