U.S. officially repeals net neutrality rules

Rally organizers carry away props following a protest outside the Federal Communication Commission building in Washington D.C. against the end of net neutrality rules on Dec. 14 2017

Net Neutrality Officially Expired. Now States Are Passing Their Own Laws

Rally organizers carry away props following a protest outside the Federal Communication Commission building in Washington, D.C., against the end of net neutrality rules on December 14, 2017. Opponents say this gives Internet providers the power to block competitors and new technologies.

The order went into effect on June 11. On Thursday, with the official repeal date looming, dozens of senators sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on the issue. "Our transparency rule will also help ensure that any problematic conduct by Internet service providers is quickly identified and corrected".

Most notably, the repeal removes the Title II classification of broadband internet that put it in line with essential utilities like electricity.

Public protests greeted the Federal Communications Commission's plan to end use of the rules, with many saying it could have an impact on free speech. Led by its then-Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler, the FCC approved rules that banned the blocking and slowing of Web content by Internet providers.

Net neutrality rollback: FCC chairman Ajit Pai responds to critics
There are two main schools of thought as to how the end of net neutrality will affect everyday internet users. The Federal Communications Commission said the repeal will remove problematic regulations.

More than 20 states have filed a lawsuit to stop the net neutrality repeal.

Without net neutrality, internet providers may pursue similar offers more aggressively.

"Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for almost 20 years will be restored", Pai said in a statement last month. But other tech companies and many content providers support a neutral internet.

Although the FCC's repeal takes effect Monday, it's not the end of the road for net neutrality. The second concern for users is the bundling of services.

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That means internet providers can speed up, slow down or block websites without violating federal regulations.

Net neutrality rules created to ensure equal Internet access formally are set to expire on Monday after a lengthy battle. Meanwhile, at least 29 states have pending legislation that would require ISPs to uphold net neutrality rules, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", said consumer group Fight for the Future.

As you surf the internet, you might not notice anything different. If you're interested in letting your representatives know where you stand on net neutrality and how you'd like them to vote, you can see a tally of who has and hasn't agreed to support net neutrality here.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released some strong statements Monday, the day net neutrality regulations are being rolled back by the Trump administration. But unlike with the issues of blocking or slowing access to internet services, they've been much less definitive on fast lanes. Several states, including New Jersey, Washington, Oregon and California, have gone so far as to push legislation to enforce the principles of net neutrality within their borders.

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