The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Thursday that internet regulations known as “net neutrality” rules will come to an end June 11.
The closing of the rules over how internet providers can operate was expected for much of the end of 2017. The FCC formally repealed the rules — which were imposed by the federal agency of a different makeup in 2015 — in December of last year, after months of wild protests.
Proponents of the lengthy regulations, known as the Open Internet Order, argue they are necessary for ensuring broadband companies don’t throttle internet speeds, block access altogether, or offer different, exorbitant levels of pricing for such utilities. Opponents of net neutrality claim that there are a litany of reasons not to support them. But they mainly allude to the downsides of having the government superintend the internet, especially when there seems to be such a deficit of technical knowledge, and not allowing for paid prioritization, which many say is a necessity for allocating internet bandwidth to where it’s needed most. (RELATED: The Race To 5G Technology: How America Could Lose Out On The Next Biggest Thing)
“I strongly support a free and open Internet. And that’s exactly what we’ve had for decades, starting in the Clinton Administration,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. “The Internet wasn’t broken in 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure and imposed heavy-handed Title II rules on the Internet economy. Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful Internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for nearly 20 years will be restored.”
Still, despite the imminent closure, lawmakers, almost all Democrats, are pushing forward with a political move in an attempt to save the regulations.
Currently, 50 senators are trying to reverse the FCC’s undoing of the 2015 rules with a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution. (RELATED: Sen McCain’s Poor Health May Help Senate Democrats Push Forward With Net Neutrality Maneuver)
And a group of states, through their attorney generals, are trying to block the new rules through lawsuits.
The article has been updated to reflect that technically the end is June 11, not June 10 as originally reported.
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