The end of net neutrality is here - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

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The net neutrality protections prohibited internet providers from favoring or blocking access to particular products or websites. In a statement at the time, FCC chairman Ajit Pai framed the upcoming repeal as removing burdensome regulations.

"Net neutrality ensures equal access to online content regardless of who is providing or requesting information", Florian Schaub, an assistant professor at the University of MI who specializes in internet privacy, wrote in a paper recently published in the academic journal Media and Communication.

I support a free and open internet.

Your ability to watch and use your favorite apps and services could start to change following the official demise Monday of Obama-era internet protections.

Many consumer advocates argued that once the rules were scrapped, broadband providers would begin selling the internet in bundles, not unlike cable television packages.

"We've empowered the FTC to take action against any company that might act in any competitive way", Pai said.

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ISPs' required disclosures "will allow consumers to make an informed decision about which Internet service provider is best for them and give entrepreneurs the information they need as they develop new products and services", Pai wrote.

Net neutrality rules enacted under former President Barack Obama expired Monday, completing a move previous year by the Federal Communications Commission to end the protections. They can also set up "fast lanes" for preferred services - in turn, relegating everyone else to "slow lanes". Are you saying they want to more explicitly offer bundles that include preferred services? Earlier this decade, many consumers found their access to Netflix slowed amid a dispute between the streaming video provider and broadband companies over who would pay to upgrade the connections between their networks. Our goal is simple: better, faster, cheaper internet access for American consumers who are in control of their own online experience. 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. Dozens of other states are considering similar measures.

But only time will tell if the latest decision will lead to the slow death of the open internet as we know it - or whether the predictions have been too drastic. Network investment topped $1.5 trillion. "We still don't and won't block, throttle or discriminate against lawful content".

The FCC is also facing a number of lawsuits from consumer rights groups as well as state attorneys.

Perhaps the repeal won't change the direction of the internet.

While the nation-wide net neutrality laws have been repealed, it is likely that State laws will be created to protect consumers from corporate greed and shady practices. Siding with AT&T might clear the way for more consolidation, while siding with the government could cause telecom giants to think twice about buying companies in new lines of business.

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