FCC leader promises better Internet as net neutrality rules expire

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Net neutrality rules created to ensure equal Internet access formally are set to expire on Monday after a lengthy battle.

The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules was voted on a year ago, and it finally comes into effect today (June 11).

That means internet providers can speed up, slow down or block websites without violating federal regulations.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (R) wrote in an op-ed Monday that consumers will still be protected under the new framework.

On May 16, the U.S. Senate, where Republicans hold only a narrow majority, voted 52 to 47 to overturn the decision by the FCC - which is now composed of three Republicans and Rosenworcel. "I would love to have one uniform, robust federal standard protecting net neutrality, but given that the FCC has left a void, the states have to fill it".

And critics fear repealing them may see consumers charged extra for anything more than the most basic service. And rightly so. The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy.

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With Net Neutrality coming to an end, there are fewer rules governing how internet service providers can operate.

The net neutrality rule is officially ending Monday.

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", Pai said in a statement last month. Ahead of the December 14 commission vote that ended those Obama-era net neutrality regulations, current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called those same rules a " heavy-handed, utility-style.mistake" and pledged to stop the federal government from "micromanaging" the internet by introducing a new set of "internet freedom" regulations. It also gives them the freedom to charge people more money for faster access, which would likely make the entire internet slower for everyone else.

The Senate voted 52-47 last month to overturn the FCC's plan, but the House, which is doesn't intend to take up the issue-making the Senate's move largely symbolic.

"We'll see what happens after the [midterm] election", Lewis says. The idea was to keep the internet open and uncensored. "But then in 2015, the FCC chose a different course". The idea was that all Internet traffic should be treated equally by broadband providers.

Net neutrality looks set to live on in piecemeal form as some U.S. states are enacting legislation that will require telecoms companies operating in their territories to abide by similar laws. Additionally, 22 states' and Washington DC's attorneys general have filed a lawsuit alongside almost a dozen other groups, challenging the FCC decision.