The net neutrality has officially been rolled back; Net neutrality laws, formulated in 2015 under Barack Obama’s tenure had made the internet providers to treat all the websites equally. The net neutrality protection was voted to be rolled back by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December.
So, what exactly is Net Neutrality? Net neutrality is a set of rules to ensure equal access to all websites and does not allow any preferential treatment to a certain website, or doesn’t let the service providers discriminate on the basis of user, content, platform, applications or charge differently. These rules prevented things like blocking, throttling, and prioritizing companies depending on how much they pay.
The existing standard, according to FCC ends the innovation and doesn’t let the internet providers experiment with different business models. It is killing the competition as argued by FCC. “Network investments fell by billions of dollars”, wrote Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman in a column. According to the Commission, the repeal does away with “unnecessary” regulations and brings regulations that make more sense.
The repeal has not yet come into effect as the internet providers need to conform to the regulations for paid prioritization. So, how these new regulations are going to affect the user? Certain types of content can now be blocked by the internet service providers without any legal issues, and the cost of web access and subscriptions can skyrocket. While this move is supported by the telecom industries, it has faced resistance from others.