Net neutrality protections, first put in place during the Obama administration, will end on June 11. But now there are fewer rules governing how internet service providers can operate.
But the FCC's outgoing rules already allowed broadband providers leeway to create special data channels for such services where the net-neutrality provisions wouldn't apply. The rules, which have the overwhelming bipartisan support of the vast majority of Americans, prevented major ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from further abusing a lack of competition in the broadband. It may sound like a miracle, but it's actually just HB 2282, a bill that passed in March that protects net neutrality and a free and open internet.
Net neutrality is officially no longer the rule of the land. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, governors in six states - New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Hawaii - have signed executive orders upholding net neutrality, and three - Washington, Vermont and OR - have enacted legislation that does so.
"Not only is the FCC eliminating basic net neutrality rules, but it's joining forces with the FTC to say it will only act when a broadband provider is deceiving the public", Chris Lewis, VP at Public Knowledge, a nonprofit that focuses on the open internet, said in an earlier statement.
Meanwhile, legal battles against the FCC rollback of net neutrality are still underway.
The setback is doing little to quell the enthusiasm of net neutrality advocates, who have been rallying around efforts to implement similar rules at the state level.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Paitold "CBS This Morning" that the new rules will provide a "light touch approach" that produces "tremendously positive" benefits for consumers. They will have the right to discriminate and favor the Internet traffic of those companies with whom they have pay-for-play arrangements and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road.
If the resolution gets a vote in the House, it may not succeed. With startups unable to pay for these lanes, there is no chance that small, unsupported entrepreneurs will turn into future Snapchats or Facebooks, as this repeal only preserves the monopoly that the handful of tech giants now enjoys along with the powers of a few ISPs. One of the FTC commissioners had even said that the FCC is setting up FTC to fail.
"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", Sohn says. Some states, like New Jersey, Washington, and California, have been actively working on state laws that would keep net neutrality alive within their jurisdictions.