Net neutrality repeal is just around the corner. The question is, are we ready?
Net neutrality has always been a subject of a heated discussion in the United States. In the past, there had been questions as to the role of the internet is more of an enterprise purpose and not for domestic. However, it changed as the bigger part of the society was able to have more access to it. The FCC, Federal Communications Commission regulated policies governing usage and fair pricing.
The FCC and the National Cable and Telecommunications in 2005 agreed on four net neutrality principles in order to protect the rights of consumers towards freedom of access to the internet. In 2008, then chairman of FCC, Kevin Martin, made sure that internet providers will not impose any problems to the consumers’ access to the internet.
In 2014, the FCC decided to come up with a new policy that complies with the rules of the court which led to giving consent to providers like Netflix, Google, and Disney to have priority access, better connection speed, and others which is in the opposite of the original net neutral policy. Some problems were raised about the new net neutrality law like consuming the max of the subscription you have paid for, monitoring your data so as not to exceed usage, not many choices for a broadband service provider, and others.
Currently, The FCC’s decision towards net neutrality, as expressed in the Federal Register, which serves as a record of administrative actions, has been in question. Last December, companies such as AT&T and Verizon were given permission to bill content companies for consumers’ access to their programs fast, hinder apps and block or slow down websites and services. Those who don’t agree to the new rules of the FCC are appealing for reimposition of the previous net neutrality policy.
US States haven’t fully accepted the new decision of the federal which will take effect on the 23rd of April, while the braver Washington State, the first state which passed a law against ISP’s control of their services for gains. Washington Governor Jay Inslee pointed out that the decision of the FCC was because of Pres. Trump’s favoring service providers’ interests over the consumers in America. The Washington law aimed to oppose providers from gaining control of favored services, apps and websites and since the FCC is not in agreement of any state law that will otherwise contradict its decision, lawsuits can be filed. But Inslee was confident of his decision to protect the consumers’ rights. The said law will still have to wait until June 6.
Other movements were done towards the restoration of the previous net neutrality rules. Net neutrality advocates start to do their part to come up with another way to keep net neutrality. Executive orders were signed by the governors of Montana, Hawaii, New York, Vermont and New Jersey in relation to rules of net neutrality that will protect its citizens. So far, only Washington and Oregon have passed new laws.
Because of the resistance of the states to accept the FCC’s net neutrality laws, big telecommunications businesses and advocates see this as a problem to know sustainable corporate practices, preventing businesses from taking advantage of consumers and may cause harm in the broadband industry.