That may sound annoying for Netflix users, but it's easy to imagine farther-reaching consequences given the ubiquity of the internet, which now functions more like electricity than an information service.
The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines in December to repeal the rules, which were meant to prevent internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down access to specific online services. In other words, no speeding up, slowing down or blocking specific websites or online services.
Q. What's net neutrality, again?
The internet probably won't immediately become (more of) a dystopian nightmare. The repeal of net neutrality is also good for consumers, says Pai, because it puts authority over ISPs back into the hands of the FTC.
The way the internet is regulated in the USA is about to change.
Pai's primary defense of the FCC's new lax rules on ISPs is the "transparency rule", which requires ISPs to notify consumers of any policies that violate previous Net Neutrality guidelines.
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The rollback of net neutrality has begun.
When fighting against the 2015 net neutrality rules, the ISPs said nearly in unison that they would prefer to leave net neutrality rules to Congress instead of the FCC. 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.
Another misleading ISP claim is that they want to get rid of Title II, and not net neutrality rules in general.
The change comes as broadband and cellphone providers expand their efforts to deliver video and other content to consumers. At least 29 states have introduced more than 65 bills aimed at protecting net neutrality and seven states - Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Oregon and Vermont - enacted executive orders that made it illegal for state agencies to enter contracts with ISPs that don't uphold net neutrality. Last week, Senate Democrats urged House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, to bring the issue to a vote on the House floor. Well, guess what: they've finally, actually killed net neutrality.
"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", Gigi Sohn, a counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and a staunch supporter of net neutrality, told CNNMoney. And in May, the Senate voted in favor of reversing the FCC's repeal; however, the measure still needs to be passed in the House of Representatives, where afterwards it will then need President Trump's signature.