Net neutrality rules will officially end on April 23

Net neutrality rules will officially end on April 23

"We are confident that the Restoring Internet Freedom order will be upheld in court", says Brian Hart, an FCC spokesman.

The order's publication allows legal challenges to be filed against it.

After Ajit Pai-led Federal Communications Commission made a decision to repeal net neutrality rules, the Commission has today announced that the end will go into effect on April 23.

Last month the states joined web browser developer Mozilla Corp and video-sharing platform Vimeo Inc in filing petitions ensuring their right to sue.

The concept of net neutrality will continue to exist after the Restoring Internet Freedom Order goes into effect in April, but the FCC's ability to enforce it will be gone, as the new rule undoes the ISP classification and strips the FCC of its regulatory power over the companies.

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Even though many people agreed with the basic premise of net neutrality, the FCC's rules became a lightning rod for controversy because they placed broadband providers under the same strict regulations that govern telephone networks. During the vote to repeal the regulations, FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly said he would not stand for "a hodgepodge of state rules". The White House Office of Management and Budget still must sign off on some aspects of the FCC reversal before it takes legal effect. This sounds great on the surface (who wouldn't want free data?), but it gives a huge advantage to the sites and services that the internet provider chooses to support. Consumers could see the price of their monthly Netflix bill rise even more to cover this additional cost. In January, according to a Reuters report, US Senate Democrats said they had the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber for repeal - one vote short of a majority.

Late past year, the Republican-led FCC with its 3-2 vote to remove Obama-era prohibitions on blocking web traffic, slowing it or demanding payment for faster passage via their networks. It won't get past President Donald Trump's desk, but it will force a vote and some think that the voting record could result in changes in mid-term elections. The rules prohibit companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from charging customers for access to "internet fast lanes", and also from slowing down or blocking access to certain websites or services.

The lawsuit isn't the only action states are taking to preserve net neutrality.

The FCC's December decision also sought to preempt states from imposing their own net neutrality rules. Governors of several states - New Jersey, Montana and NY - have already signed executive orders that effectively establish net neutrality principles at the state level.

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