The Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules are set to end in just two-months time. The last steps have been taking to remove the regulations by publishing the final notice of the repeal in the Federal Register. This starts a 60-day countdown until the rules are officially removed, which will be April 23rd.
Net neutrality means that all traffic on the internet is treated equally. A Democrat-led FCC in 2015 passed rules that meant broadband companies could not slow or block access to certain websites or services. The rules also stated that companies could not charge a fee to access customers more quickly.
The supporters of net neutrality believe that the rules are essential to stop broadband companies from abusing their power. However, broadband companies believe that the rules were restricting investment opportunities and over-regulating the market. Many entrepreneurs fear that the repeal will hurt small businesses the most.
Net neutrality supporters in more than twenty states have already filed petitions in their states to challenge the rule changes. Democrats will also need to gain more support in the House of Representative before the deadline in order to overturn the decision. President Trump has already stated his support for the repeal and will most likely not sign opposing legislation.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement earlier today, “The FCC’s net neutrality decision is a study in just what’s wrong with Washington. This agency failed the American public. It failed to listen to their concerns and gave short shrift to their deeply held belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land. It turned a blind eye to all kinds of corruption in our public record—from Russian intervention to fake comments to stolen identities in our files. As a result of the mess the agency created, broadband providers will now have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content. This is not right. The FCC is on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the law and it deserves to have its handiwork revisited, reexamined, and ultimately reversed.”