This month marked the end of net neutrality as we know it as the FCC rolled back rules and regulations requiring internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content, maintaining internet equality.
Internet villain and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is still pushing the idea that these changes, which many feel will lead to censorship and economic disparity among internet users, are a good thing and instead of protesting we should be celebrating.
Despite what the often mocked (above by John Oliver) Pai has said, it is unlikely that the term “More competition” is going to do anything good for small companies and entrepreneurs, who do business online. Several states who have recognized the potential for unfair practices to be enacted as a result of this repeal have taken steps to ensure that it won’t be happening to their citizens.
Washington is the first state to enact protection laws prohibiting home and mobile internet providers from blocking or throttling lawful internet traffic and from changing online services for prioritization. Oregon also passed its own net neutrality law, but it only applies to ISP’S that sell internet service to state or local government agencies and won’t take effect until Jan 1st, 2019. Governors from Vermont, Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey, and New York have issued executive orders to impose net neutrality service to state government agencies. And a California bill is currently awaiting approval from the State Assembly and Governor Jerry Brown. To date, 29 states have introduced bills meant to ensure net neutrality.
While some states are taking steps to protect at least themselves, twelve lawsuits filed by state attorneys general, consumer advocacy groups and tech companies including Free Press, National Hispanic Media Coalition, and the entire County of Santa Clara California, have been consolidated into one big lawsuit trying to counter the FCC’s repeal.
While the repeal has gone in to effect, you can still join the fight. Remeber, your government works for you, so if you are for a free and open internet, Battle for the Net has made it easy to reach out to your officials and have your voice heard.
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Images: Joseph Gruber, HBO
Source: New York Times