Net neutrality rollback: FCC chairman Ajit Pai responds to critics

The Federal Communications Commission rollback of net neutrality went into effect today. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai championed the move while commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel opposed

The net neutrality rule is officially ending Monday.

"In the short-run, we'll see that internet service providers will recruit higher-end users, knowing that they can take speed and service away from you and me in order to provide that faster service to higher-end customers who are paying more", Portney said.

Several states are rushing to pass new net neutrality laws to replace the FCC rules.

Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, led the repeal of the net neutrality rules and continued to argue that the new system will be better for consumers and provide companies with incentive to invest in more broadband internet access. Basically everyone from consumer advocates to human rights groups and even tech companies supported net neutrality, but, of course, that didn't stop the FCC from overturning it.

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The FCC's new rules require ISPs to publicly disclose how they manage traffic, but they charge the Federal Trade Commission with handling complaints should they arise. The rules, which have the overwhelming bipartisan support of the vast majority of Americans, prevented major ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from further abusing a lack of competition in the broadband.

Still, supporters have hoped to force a public vote on the issue, because with midterm elections looming some lawmakers might be swayed as net neutrality is a resonant issue with voters. Last month, the FCC received the required approval from the Office of Management and Budget in order to keep with the June 11 schedule.

What exactly is net neutrality?

The law was repealed in December by the Federal Communications Commission, but it only came into effect today. Senate Democrats forced a vote to restore net neutrality through the Congressional Review Act in May.

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The federal repeal of rules governing net neutrality will free internet service providers to create slow and fast lanes, or to prefer certain types of online traffic over others.

Senate Democrats had urged the House of Representatives to vote to reverse the FCC decision before Monday, and still hold out hope of a vote later this year. "In 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC-the nation's premier consumer protection agency- of its authority over internet service providers".

Without the net neutrality rules, and in the context of a non-competitive ISP market in the United States, many fear that the ISPs will start charging websites additional fees depending on the type of content they serve through the ISPs' networks.

"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", Sohn says. "That idea sits at the foundation of internet services, reflects how consumers enjoy the internet today, and despite claims to the contrary, has never truly been in jeopardy". Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level.

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