Consumers’ Internet Use Could Change As ‘Net Neutrality’ Ends

The repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections officially took effect on Monday, almost six months after the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to roll back the rules.

The Federal Trade Commission will be able to investigate if internet providers engage in anticompetitive behaviour.

How could the net neutrality repeal affect you?

Internet service providers now have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content.

However, it's possible that access could slow anyway.

Any changes are likely to happen slowly, as companies assess how much consumers will tolerate. The slowdown was only fixed after Netflix agreed to pay for the upgrades. The repeal takes effect six months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to undo them. And consumer groups note that should the FCC repeal survive the looming lawsuits, the end result won't be pretty for American consumers. How has Amazon's entry changed the grocery business?

Will I have to pay more to reach certain sites or services?

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"The people really want a free and open internet", Hansen said. Some consumers fear a slower Internet and higher costs for broadband delivery. "I think that's insane". "Ever", Bob Quinn, AT&T's senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, said in the February blog post.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said last week the rollback will ensure more investment by providers and will ensure "better, faster, and cheaper Internet access and more broadband competition to the American people".

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Internet providers could choose to prioritize their own content and services over those of rivals. Such a scenario could be particularly devastating for startups with ambitions of becoming the next Netflix or Hulu, as they will have a much harder time paying ISP fees to compete early on.

Net neutrality, which once required internet service providers to treat all online content the same, is now gone starting Monday. But like many ardent net neutrality supporters, Schaub said he thinks it will take a while for the repeal to trickle down to customers, saying it will be more like "small and creeping changes rather than sudden shifts".

A collection of advocacy groups has called for "mass online actions" on June 11 to once again call attention to the issue and pressure Congress to act. So, the broadband providers are likely to move cautiously. "They're slightly smarter than that".

Net neutrality is officially a thing of the past - but not in Washington state.

Meanwhile, even before the end of the net-neutrality rules, several broadband providers, including AT&T and Verizon, were experimenting with so-called zero-rating programs. They can also set up "fast lanes" for preferred services - in turn, relegating everyone else to "slow lanes".

Zero-rating programs weren't specifically barred under the now-defunct net neutrality protections.

The FCC's abandonment of net neutrality laws, voted on previous year, finally takes effect today. With the repeal of the new rules and the general-conduct provisions, the FCC will no longer have any oversight over such programs.

Washington and OR now have their own net neutrality laws, and a bill is pending in California's legislature. Almost two dozen states and several companies have sued the government to try and preserve the rules.

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