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Net neutrality is dead

2018-04-23 07:43 by
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Net neutrality in the U.S. is officially dead as of today, despite the fact over 85% of the population across party lines supports it.

Net neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally, including all of the different types of data, for example web traffic, emails, digital video, audio, p2p, etc. It implies governmental oversight of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), preventing them from slowing down (or charging money for) specific types of online content or websites.

In the United States, net neutrality has been fiercely discussed, lobbied and ruled over by Congress, the FCC, and in court battles. Key milestones in the net neutrality battle are as follows:

- 2005 FCC adopts net neutrality principles under republican chair Abernathy.
- 2014 D.C. Circruit Court of Appeals rules that the FCC can't regulate ISPs because they are classified as providing "information services," rather than "common carrier services".
- 2015 FCC reclassifies ISPs as common carriers.
- 2017 Net Neutrality is repealed by the president Trump's newly appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai.


Prior to governmental enforcement of net neutrality rules, there were a few notable violation of these principles, as follows:

- Cox Cable disciplined users over use of virutal rivat networks (VPNs)
- Comcast Cable blocked VPN ports, secretly throttled P2P traffic by using forged packets.
- AT&T warned customers that using a Wi-Fi service for home networking constituted "theft of service" and a federal crime.
- A North Carolina ISP blocked "Voice over Internet Protocol" (VoIP) service Vonage


The one rule that survived the net neutrality repeal was the "transparency rule," requiring that broadband providers disclose when, and under what circumstances they block or slow down traffic. It also requires them to disclose if and when they offer paid priority services.

Net neutrality FCC regulation may be dead, however, the debate is far from over. Many states have enacted their own version of some net neutrality rules, and 22 states have filed a joined lawsuit against the FCC over the repeal. ISPs are trying to counter this, AT&T and Verizon lobbyists are threatening to "aggressively" sue states that enact net neutrality. The issue is likely to be a part of the midterm elections this year, as 23 Million people have submitted comments to the FCC over the repeal.






 

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