So Long to Net Neutrality, Hello to Bigger Telecoms?

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The Federal Communications Commission had voted to repeal the protections in December 2017 and faced widespread criticism by internet users.

Advocates argue the repeal of the Obama-era rules will promote faster internet and provide more competition. Pai doesn't explain what will happen if they don't follow through, other than saying that the "problematic conduct" will be "corrected".

As of today, the end of net neutrality is official. The FTC could also file lawsuits against ISPs to stop anti-competitive practices.

Wireless majors such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon can give priority to their own movies and TV shows, while hurting rivals such as Amazon, YouTube and start-ups, Associated Press reported. Earlier this decade, many consumers found their access to Netflix slowed amid a dispute between the streaming video provider and broadband companies over who would pay to upgrade the connections between their networks. "And in the medium- to long-term, I think we're going to see more investment in high-speed networks, particularly in rural areas that are hard to serve".

Zero-rating programs weren't specifically barred under the now-defunct net neutrality protections. More than 20 states have sued the FCC, and several governors have passed executive orders requiring ISPs doing business with their states to uphold net neutrality.

Having visited many states and small-town America, he reported that many people felt they were "on the wrong side of the digital divide ..."

"Net neutrality ensures equal access to online content regardless of who is providing or requesting information", Florian Schaub, an assistant professor at the University of MI who specializes in internet privacy, wrote in a paper recently published in the academic journal Media and Communication. Among other things, the net neutrality rules required internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content.

Beginning Monday, however, the USA government no longer explicitly prohibits those practices.

In a speech on the senate floor on May 9, Thune said regulations needed to come from Congress, not the Federal Communications Commission. State governments are also taking action with more than half of the states exploring their own Net Neutrality legislation.

Pai said "misinformation" was behind some of the visceral online reaction he faced.

The California state Senate passed a net neutrality bill on Wednesday.

Providers have said they won't block or throttle legal websites, but have left open the potential for charging more for transport of some data.WATCH: What is net neutrality?

"If the companies decide we don't like this particular organization or what they stand for so we're not going to let it go out to the people that we provide services to".

Broadband providers say consumers needn't worry. She warns of internet providers restricting access to websites containing content the company doesn't agree with.

"They don't want to add fuel to the fire", Martin said.