Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends

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If you're a fan of Netflix, for example, net neutrality holds that you should be able to watch its shows without running into impediments your ISP puts up that are created to push you toward a competing service, such as Hulu.

"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. She warns of internet providers restricting access to websites containing content the company doesn't agree with. 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.

The blocking and slowing of websites gets much of the attention in the net neutrality debate.

The debate around net neutrality was immediately politicized. In 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC - the nation's premier consumer protection agency - of its authority over internet service providers.

Net neutrality rules established under the Obama era were officially repealed today following a vote last month by the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

For instance, both the ISPs and the FCC have claimed that net neutrality has hurt investment.

The Senate passed a measure to preserve the net neutrality rules last month.

Yesterday marked the end of USA government rules regarding net neutrality, but the new policy faces legal challenges from individual states, some of which have also developed their own rules on the matter. In Montana and NY, governors signed executive orders that uphold the Obama-era net neutrality regulations.

"Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality", she continued.

Throttling: Service providers could not slow the transmission of data because of the nature of the content, as long as it was legal.

Without net neutrality, it technically becomes legal, for example, for an internet provider like Comcast to give preferential treatment to a video service like Hulu, which it owns, while slowing down other services like Netflix - and that would obviously be undesirable for Comcast subscribers who use Netflix. In fact, some have made clear they want to have the freedom to prioritize certain kinds of traffic over others.

Not everyone is anxious about net neutrality being repealed, of course.

"The idea that your ISP, because it controls the on-ramp to the internet, can be in a position to affect the flow of information in society is a concern that resonates with people", Daniel Lyons, a telecommunications lawyer, tells MONEY.

"The Senate has voted to overturn the FCC order that killed off net neutrality", Doyle said. "They now have nearly free reign over what content their subscribers will have access to", he wrote. He says small business owners like Black, who sells 99% of his product online, could end up losing customers to these large corporations if they pay for a faster website. If the only providers that can serve state governments are those that observe net neutrality, these states reason, then it could shape what services consumers are offered, too.