Congress is still fighting to uphold net neutrality, and states continue to find ways to enact their own laws regarding the controversial regulations. If you're interested in letting your representatives know where you stand on net neutrality and how you'd like them to vote, you can see a tally of who has and hasn't agreed to support net neutrality here.
The two events in Washington could lead to further consolidation of wireless, cable and content giants, public-interest advocates say. Such a scenario could be particularly devastating for startups with ambitions of becoming the next Netflix or Hulu, as they will have a much harder time paying ISP fees to compete early on. More than 80 percent of Americans support net neutrality, according to a University of Maryland poll released in December.
Having visited many states and small-town America, he reported that many people felt they were "on the wrong side of the digital divide ..."
"They will have the right to discriminate and favor the internet traffic of those companies with whom they have pay-for-play arrangements and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road", Rosenworcel said.
Experts warn a non-neutral net creates an unfair playing field between the mammoth internet companies that can afford to "pay to play" versus start-ups and smaller businesses.
Beginning Monday, however, the USA government no longer explicitly prohibits those practices. Many ISPs seem to be concerned that any drastic move could force many of their customers to subscribe to new internet options like 5G when it rolls out later this year. Following the FCC's decision, network investment fell by billions of dollars - the first time that had happened outside of a recession in the broadband era. Democrats quickly charged that Pai had ignored roughly 22 million comments that flooded the agency as part of its official deliberations.
Pai's primary defense of the FCC's new lax rules on ISPs is the "transparency rule", which requires ISPs to notify consumers of any policies that violate previous Net Neutrality guidelines.
Pai said "misinformation" was behind some of the visceral online reaction he faced. You can imagine a scenario where NBC would want to speed up streams of its shows and slow down streams of its rivals, Nexflix. Pai argued the restrictions were unnecessary, "heavy-handed" regulations aimed at the telecomm industry that thwarted innovation. Others point out that the FTC, which oversees consumer protection for every corner of the USA economy, already has its hands full.
"The FTC does not have specialized expertise in telecommunications".
However, in the op-ed Pai does not defend against any of the common arguments for Net Neutrality. Some states are moving to restore net neutrality, and lawsuits are pending.
The fate of net neutrality is likely to last throughout the remainder of the year, if not longer based on the push for legislation.
Other states, including New York, Vermont, and Montana, are using executive orders and various other means of reinstating net neutrality, but at the moment, Washington is the only state to pass a bill protecting it. OR passed similiar legislation, but it won't go into effect until next year, as Motherboard reports. Under those regulations, broadband service was considered a utility under Title II of the Communications Act, giving the FCC broad power over internet providers.