Net Neutrality Repeal Made Official With Entry Into Federal Register

It's been two months since the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in favor of repealing Net Neutrality rules that were put in place by the United States government in 2015. That decision has been made official today by being entered into the Federal Register, and will become law starting April 23, 2018.

Following the vote, lawsuits began to appear in efforts to block the rollback of Net Neutrality, with one multi-state lawsuit being led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and 22 other Attorneys General. As pointed out by TechCrunch, now that the Restoring Internet Freedom order "legally exists," every opponent in the U.S., "from citizens to attorney generals to governors and senators," will be able to begin their own lawsuits over the decision.


Prior to today, many actions contemplated and indeed announced by opponents of the rule were technically not possible, since the rule was technically not yet in force. A state can’t, for example, argue that its own laws are infringed upon by a rule until that rule legally exists.

Today is the moment that the net neutrality repeal legally exists, and you’re going to see a lot — a lot — of actions taken against it, all over the country.
The decision was heavily debated leading up to the vote in December, with proponents arguing the internet will now go back to a "light-touch regulatory scheme" it faced prior to 2015 and the advent of Net Neutrality. Opponents of the repeal vocalized fear that internet service providers will now be able to slow down internet speeds -- or block access completely -- to certain websites they see as competitors, among other concerns.

Specifically, the FCC's vote reclassifies ISPs as "information service" providers -- as they were between February 1996 and February 2015 -- instead of classifying them as "common carriers" under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. According to the Federal Register document published today, the decision to do this was made to restore broadband internet services as a "lightly-regulated" market. This means that one of the only major stipulations placed on ISPs like AT&T and Comcast is that if they do throttle a user's internet for any reason, they must disclose it. For its part, AT&T has said it is "committed to an open internet."

A report by Recode in January examined how major technology companies responded to the Net Neutrality debate, with Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google spending about $50 million in 2017 lobbying the government on the issue. Apple alone was said to have spent $7 million on lobbying last year with a focus on encryption and immigration as well as Net Neutrality, growing from $4.5 million in 2016.

Apple's push against the repeal of Net Neutrality included a letter from August 2017 urging the FCC not to roll back the rules. Apple's letter discussed internet "fast lanes" and "slow lanes," where paid fast lanes could result in an "internet with distorted competition." Apple ultimately said this ruling could "fundamentally alter the internet as we know it," and if it passed it would be put in place to the detriment of consumers, competition, and innovation.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.



Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
8 months ago
I cannot wait to vote blue in the midterms.
Rating: 32 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago

Good. Net neutrality was unfair for businesses and didn't make sense for the consumer long term. It was anti-capitalism and would ultimately prevent businesses' growth and negatively affect the future of the internet.


You literally told everyone you know nothing about Net Neutrality.

ISPs did not pay for the internet, the tax payers did. ISPs were given huge amounts of money by the government to build up the infrastructure which they failed to deliver on. (Had they delivered we'd of all had broadband by 2000).

Why should an ISP get to control what happens to the internet when they didn't create it or pay for the infrastructure?

As for "prevent business growth" the opposite is true. No net neutrality means that Comcast and others can squash startups by preventing their traffic from going through, this has already happened many times and was the reason the rules were put in place.
Rating: 22 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago
There's only one way to properly convey how I feel about this:

That 3D animation took forever!

Rating: 21 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago
Good. Net neutrality was unfair for businesses and didn't make sense for the consumer long term. It was anti-capitalism and would ultimately prevent businesses' growth and negatively affect the future of the internet.
Rating: 18 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago
Absolutely shameful decision to roll back net neutrality. Can’t wait to see how the lawsuits progress.
Rating: 16 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago

Good. Net neutrality was unfair for businesses and didn't make sense for the consumer long term. It was anti-capitalism and would ultimately prevent businesses' growth and negatively affect the future of the internet.


I agree. People complain when they don't get everything for free.


Man the United States slant for this conversation is ridiculous. The Internet is global, it is bigger than the United States. "anti-capitalism" ... Yes, the Internet wasn't created to make money for corporations. The entire world doesn't subscribe to capitalism. If greed wasn't an issue in late stage capitalism, we wouldn't have Enron, banks "too big to fail", the entire Union movement, etc.
Rating: 14 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago
Here’s a fun fact: go research the prices of any services at any given point in history. Without singular exception, once government stepped in, prices went up. Every time.
Rating: 14 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago

I can’t believe this happening in America.

land of the free*, home of the brave.

*with appropriate subscription
Rating: 13 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago
Its too bad people don't take the time to realize and read what this was really about. The title Net Neutrality was totally misleading if not an outright lie. What the law meant was that the government could make any rules it wanted at any time without the involvement of Congress. Of course they did not make any controversial laws right now, because they did not want to upset the Apple cart (he he). But once they have established the authority, then slowly but surely they can implement censorship or whatever other private agenda the government wanted.

That original law was good for Tech companies because they spend so much money on political issues that they could determine what was done and when. Without this law, Tech companies have to compete against each other by disclosing and reacting to their users. This is a lot harder to do and to control. But it is the best for consumers.
Rating: 12 Votes
Avatar
8 months ago
I wonder what internet package bundle I will have to buy to visit MacRumors.

What a ****ing joke

If I have to pay more to visit certain websites and use my PS4, I'll just cut cable completely. It's all trash on there anyway.
Rating: 12 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]