Net neutrality is all set to become obsolete in the U.S, after the U.S regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday voted to repeal the 2015 landmark Net neutrality rules. This unprecedented ruling is most likely to mark a new beginning in the U.S internet history amid massive protest and outcry across the country. The public outrage against FCC’s move to repeal the Net neutrality was visible outside the FCC office, where thousands had gathered in protest.
The FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai – a Republican appointed by U.S President Donald Trump, strongly defended the unpopular move before the voting process began. He claimed that scrapping of the 2015 rules would indeed benefit the U.S citizens as this would allow internet providers like AT&T and Comcast to offer more services and options to them. Unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump took very a negative stand against Net neutrality, arguing that unregulated business leads to more innovation and help the economy to grow in the long run. Expectedly, FCC’s decision to vote 3-2 against net neutrality will be seen as a huge victory for the Trump administration.
Meanwhile, the U.S internet browsers won’t be immediately affected, since it will take a lot of time before this new rule comes into effect. However, signs of ensuing long and bitter legal battles are already visible, with several Democrats demanding that a new bill must be immediately introduced in the U.S Congress that would restore the 2015 net neutrality rules. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, has promised to pursue a multi-state lawsuit against this decision.
On other hand, many public interest groups have also promised that they would soon file law suits to reverse this ruling.
What actually is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality bars internet companies like AT&T and Verizon from indulging into any act of manipulation, including speeding up & slowing down speed or blocking any web contents. Net Neutrality essentially – as is claimed by its supporters – aims to keep internet free and fair. They have long argued that internet service providers want to breach this freedom solely for the purpose of increasing their profitability and commercial viability.
While (logically speaking) chasing profit is not a bad idea, Net Neutrality supporters claim that common people have become more dependent internet than ever before and hence excessive freedom to internet companies may lead to consumer exploitation.