Net neutrality is no more. Here's what that means

Under the rules, internet providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast had to treat all traffic equally. The disclosures are essentially a get-out-of-jail-free card-the new FCC regime specifically allows ISPs to block, throttle, or prioritize content in exchange for payment as long as the ISPs disclose the fact that they're doing so.

What's more, internet advocates have always been concerned that if broadband providers are able to create so-called fast lanes to particular sites and services, they will in effect slow down traffic to all other locations on the internet.

Since it is now legal for companies to speed up and slow down their services as they wish, customers could be forced to choose between an overall slower service or higher costs.

No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration - in other words, no "fast lanes".

The battle isn't entirely over, though.

Supporters of net neutrality are pushing state lawmakers to fight the repeal, but Mayer says this cannot be done at the state level.

Big changes could be headed to the internet industry as net neutrality becomes a policy of the past.

"Not only is the FCC eliminating basic net neutrality rules, but it's joining forces with the FTC to say it will only act when a broadband provider is deceiving the public", Chris Lewis, VP at Public Knowledge, a nonprofit that focuses on the open internet, said in an earlier statement. Most have service terms that specify they won't give preferential treatment to certain websites and services, including their own.

The sponsor of that companion CRA bill, Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., noted that "an overwhelming majority of Americans" support network neutrality despite the FCC's refusal to follow public sentiment, but that it was "still possible" to save the policy by passing his resolution.

Companies are likely to start testing the boundaries over the next six months to a year.

The repeal of Net Neutrality took effect Monday.

The proposal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lift what chairman Ajit Pai described as "heavy-handed, utility-style regulations" on broadband internet service providers (ISPs) was first mooted late past year. "Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet a lot like cable TV".

A group representing major cable companies and TV networks said Monday that "despite a new round of outlandish claims and doomsday predictions from groups dedicated to stoking political controversy, consumers will be able to see for themselves that their internet service will keep working as always has and will keep getting better". The repeal will also let ISPs charge websites or online services for priority access to consumers.

More than 20 states have sued the FCC to stop the repeal.

Yesterday marked the end of USA government rules regarding net neutrality, but the new policy faces legal challenges from individual states, some of which have also developed their own rules on the matter.

That's another reason companies are likely to move slowly, at least at first.

"Repealing these rules basically gives companies the ability to do whatever they want", Miller said.

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