After 2 years, net neutrality is now dead after the FCC voted 3-2 to repeal today. the Federal Communications Commission approved a measure to remove tough net neutrality rules that Barack Obama put in place. Those "tough" rules prevented internet service providers from messing with services like throttling and blocking traffic and offering expensive upgrades to unlock sections of the internet. Republicans in charge of the FCC stand to make a lot of extra money now that the rules and regulations have been thrown out the window. Welcome to a world where you'll pay a lot of money for various packages of the internet.

The news comes after an evacuation took place right before the vote was to happen. As FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was in the middle of giving his comment on the net neutrality proposal, someone handed him a note. He quickly said that on advice of security, the Commission needed to take a break. The feed was then cut off and everybody evacuated. There apparently was no real threat, so the FCC went in and took care of business. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman appointed by Donald Trump, has framed the repeal as getting the government to, "stop micromanaging the internet."

The net neutrality rules were approved by the FCC in 2015 amid an outpouring of online support. The intention was to keep the internet open and fair. Under the rules, internet service providers are required to treat all online content the same. They can't deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites or apps, nor can they put their own content at an advantage over rivals. For instance, service providers couldn't choose to slow down Hulu or Netflix because they have their own streaming service that competes with the other two. The same can be said about music streaming as well.

Though the deal is done, it can still be taken to court and even to Congress, so this is far from a done deal, but it is a huge step forward with big business taking over the internet. The move to deregulate the telecom and cable industry is a major setback for tech companies, consumer groups, and Democrats who lobbied heavily against the decision. And it marks a significant victory for Republicans who vowed to roll back the efforts of the prior administration, despite a recent survey that revealed that 83% of Americans were against the repeal, including Republicans.

Now there's nothing holding back service providers from divvying up the internet and offering up service packages. There could be streaming packages and social media packages that you will pay for separately to get the most out of your internet service, much like the cable TV providers. Basically, the service providers are set to be able to make a lot of money off of the internet. Once the major companies are able to start negotiating how data flows through the net, there's no shortage of ways for consumers to be charged. Internet providers are going to be able to do whatever they want and the rich will get richer. You can read more about the FCC killing net neutrality via The Verge.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick