Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends

Net neutrality ends this Monday June 11th motion to keep it alive could die in the House

The rules oblige Internet service providers, or ISPs, to enable access of all content and applications, regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

Critics say service providers now have too much control over online content. 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.

The Republican-majority FCC voted along party lines in December to repeal the regulations, which expired today.

The debate around net neutrality was immediately politicized. Supporters of net neutrality have also said that without regulation, a greater socio-economic digital divide could develop, creating a class of information "haves" and "have nots".

The Federal Communications Commission's order to roll back President Obama-era net neutrality protections goes into effect Monday. He says that net neutrality, passed in 2015, "depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation".

Without the net neutrality rules, and in the context of a non-competitive ISP market in the United States, many fear that the ISPs will start charging websites additional fees depending on the type of content they serve through the ISPs' networks.

Washington and OR now have their own net neutrality laws, and a bill is pending in California's legislature.

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How could the net neutrality repeal affect you?

Some states are moving to restore net neutrality, and lawsuits are pending.

But some of the staunchest advocates of net neutrality protections insist the telecom industry's commitments to not block or charge more for the delivery of some content are insufficient, while the FTC lacks the expertise and authority to hold them to account. The second concern for users is the bundling of services. Nine in 10 American households use the internet, according to Pew Research Center, for everything from researching recipes, communicating with friends and family by marking themselves "safe" on Facebook or Googling symptoms of a medical issue to see whether a trip to the emergency room is needed. "That idea sits at the foundation of internet services, reflects how consumers enjoy the internet today, and despite claims to the contrary, has never truly been in jeopardy".

Not everyone is anxious about net neutrality being repealed, of course.

While it seems inevitable that net neutrality will end tomorrow, not much will likely happen at first.

Others, like Schaub, disagree. It may also make it harder for the next generation of online services to compete if they have to pay up to be placed in a so-called internet fast lane.

"In the short term, I don't think consumers are going to see any change at all from the Internet experience they've come to cherish", Pai told The Washington Post on Friday.

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