Net Neutrality Is Dead, But How Dead Is It? (HBO)

According to everyone, the free and open internet died on Monday.
Or did it?

In December, the Federal Communications Commission, lead by Chairman Ajit Pai, voted 3-2 to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules.
Those rules had been put in place by his Obama-appointed predecessor, Tom Wheeler, and were finally rolled back June 11.
Pai has said repealing the rules will open up investment and clear the way for companies to build out broadband services in underserved communities.

But many, many others have argued net neutrality prevents Internet Service Providers from prioritizing content or throttling broadband speeds. And those net neutrality diehards have been very vocal, and proactive, about protecting those protections.

Three states – Washington, Oregon and Vermont – have passed legislation protecting net neutrality. 32 other states, and Washington DC, have also proposed some sort of government protection of net neutrality. Mayors in 123 cities have said ISPs working with their cities will have to adhere to net neutrality rules. 23 Attorneys General and about a dozen private groups, including Mozilla, Kickstarter and Etsy, have sued the FCC, saying they didn’t have the right to repeal the 2015 regulations. And finally, the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a measure reinstating net neutrality.

Meaning, it could be a while before net neutrality is well and truly dead across the United States. And that leaves us in a new internet era: net purgatory.

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Congressman Tim Ryan On How The Net Neutrality Repeal Will Hurt Small Business

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) explains the likely effects of the FCC’s net neutrality repeal for small businesses. Following is a transcript of the video.

Tim Ryan: I’m Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio.

I think the FCC decision on net neutrality is going to damage the internet as we know it today. I think the internet’s going to start looking a lot more like cable television.

What it does is it gives a tremendous amount of power to the internet service providers, which is going to allow them to basically have different toll roads for other websites and people who are providing content. So there’ll be a fast lane for certain ones and if there’s a fast lane, there has to be a slow lane. So they’re going to determine who gets into the fast lane and who is going to be relegated to the slow lane or doesn’t get any access at all.

And the real problem here is that the internet service providers are also doing content. So they will give themselves favorable treatment as to they get in the fast lane with their content.

And so it’s moving a concentration of information and power on the internet now and I think it’s going to be damaging to innovation and smaller businesses like Etsy and others who want to be able to compete on a level playing field, that’s why we have to keep an open internet.

I think the net neutrality move by the FCC and the Trump administration is pretty consistent with their governing philosophy in the last year. If you look at what’s going on with tax reform, it’s moving money and power and influence to a very small concentrated group of the wealthiest people in the country.

If you look at what they’re doing with net neutrality, it’s the same thing. They’re giving all of the power to the corporations right now and moving it away from the people, and I think it’s a general governing philosophy.

It does go against everything that he campaigned on because he campaigned on being the blue collar billionaire and he was going to be the person who was going to take on these very, very powerful interests. And so their philosophy is we’re going to take care of the people who are in the boardrooms, unfortunately, and not the working class people that he campaigned on, so not much left of the blue collar billionaire anymore.

At least 18 State Attorney Generals are suing the FCC over the repeal. 

The lawsuits are helpful but at the end of the day the president has the power. The FCC has the power. And so we’ve got to make sure that in the next year or two, we go out to the polls and we support candidates against people who have supported what the FCC did with net neutrality and hold those legislators accountable who support this kind of thing and we can move towards overturning it.


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