The net neutrality protection laws established under the Obama administration have now come to an end in the US. This move could bring significant changes although it will largely depend on where you live and what your internet service provider chooses to do with the given carte blanche.
On Monday, the FCC stated in a press release that the repeal of net neutrality does away with “unnecessary, heavy-handed regulations” by replacing them with “common-sense regulations that will promote investment and broadband deployment.”
So, what’s coming?
FCC has revoked the rules that prevent internet service providers from blocking, slowing or throttling the access to online content. It has also lifted rules barring prioritization of their own content.
So in the absence of these bans, providers will have to publicly declare any instances of paid prioritization as well as blocking or accelerating of online content.
Also, companies like Amazon, for instance, could strike deals with service providers to have their content delivered faster and lure more customers. However, those with pockets that aren’t so deep will be at a disadvantage.
Who will regulate the internet providers now?
Now that FCC has backed off, the regulatory powers will shift from FCC to the Federal Trade Commission. Even though Ajit Pai, Chairman of FCC, claims that FTC will protect Americans across the internet economy, consumer advocacy groups feel quite the opposite.
How is the repealing of net neutrality going to affect you?
Those who advocate net neutrality are concerned that the repeal gives too much power in the hands of internet service providers who are now free to choose how the online content is delivered.
Internet providers could operate like cable providers and offer bundles of internet packages which prioritize their content and services over those of competitors. Customers could also be cornered into paying a fee for social media package, streaming packages, and more.
Although not much is expected to change instantly, the possibility of such events will continue to loom over with providers being able to act as gatekeepers to the internet.