Net Neutrality Is Officially Gone. Here's How This Will Affect You

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Advocates of net neutrality fear without the rules in place, internet providers will have too much control over web content.

To restore the net neutrality rules, the House would have to vote in line with the Senate, and President Donald Trump would also have to sign the measure.

fccdotgov/FlickrToday, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of Obama-era "net neutrality" regulations goes into effect.

To put it simply, internet service providers could start charging companies to ensure their content loads at a decent speed, which is very important if a company is to be successful online. Chances are they were saying that to make it more likely that the FCC's rules would be repealed, or so they could support a bill with much weaker regulations and perhaps even some benefits for the ISPs. Rosenworcel voted against the FCC's repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Rules in December with another Democratic commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, who has since left the agency. "They're not going to roll out harmful paid prioritization plans, site blocking or throttling right away". Opponents of the net neutrality law - including big broadband providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast - argued that getting rid of net neutrality would lead to new investment and a more open and competitive internet. Others, including the governors of Montana and NY, used executive orders to force net neutrality.

The issue of net neutrality has sparked intense debate in the USA since last April when FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, announced that under his leadership the FCC would repeal landmark net neutrality rules created under President Obama in 2015.

For anyone who hasn't been following, net neutrality is the concept of treating all internet traffic the same, no matter where it originates from.

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The objective of the net neutrality rules has been primarily to stop discrimination from internet service providers (ISPs) against both large and small websites based on the type of content they serve.

But a battle for votes in the House remains. Many Democrats say the issue will help motivate younger people to vote in congressional elections this November, when all 435 seats in the House and a third of the 100-member Senate will be up for grabs. However, you might not see any immediate changes today. We're still not creating fast lanes. More than 20 states have sued the FCC, and several governors have passed executive orders requiring ISPs doing business with their states to uphold net neutrality.

As you surf the internet, you might not notice anything different.

"Nothing will change the next day", says Kevin Werbach, an associate professor of legal studies at Wharton and former FCC adviser.

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