Net Neutrality Repeal Made Official With Entry Into Federal Register

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Apr 12, 2001
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It's been two months since the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in favor of repealing Net Neutrality rules that were put in place by the United States government in 2015. That decision has been made official today by being entered into the Federal Register, and will become law starting April 23, 2018.

Following the vote, lawsuits began to appear in efforts to block the rollback of Net Neutrality, with one multi-state lawsuit being led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and 22 other Attorneys General. As pointed out by TechCrunch, now that the Restoring Internet Freedom order "legally exists," every opponent in the U.S., "from citizens to attorney generals to governors and senators," will be able to begin their own lawsuits over the decision.


Prior to today, many actions contemplated and indeed announced by opponents of the rule were technically not possible, since the rule was technically not yet in force. A state can't, for example, argue that its own laws are infringed upon by a rule until that rule legally exists.

Today is the moment that the net neutrality repeal legally exists, and you're going to see a lot -- a lot -- of actions taken against it, all over the country.
The decision was heavily debated leading up to the vote in December, with proponents arguing the internet will now go back to a "light-touch regulatory scheme" it faced prior to 2015 and the advent of Net Neutrality. Opponents of the repeal vocalized fear that internet service providers will now be able to slow down internet speeds -- or block access completely -- to certain websites they see as competitors, among other concerns.

Specifically, the FCC's vote reclassifies ISPs as "information service" providers -- as they were between February 1996 and February 2015 -- instead of classifying them as "common carriers" under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. According to the Federal Register document published today, the decision to do this was made to restore broadband internet services as a "lightly-regulated" market. This means that one of the only major stipulations placed on ISPs like AT&T and Comcast is that if they do throttle a user's internet for any reason, they must disclose it. For its part, AT&T has said it is "committed to an open internet."

A report by Recode in January examined how major technology companies responded to the Net Neutrality debate, with Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google spending about $50 million in 2017 lobbying the government on the issue. Apple alone was said to have spent $7 million on lobbying last year with a focus on encryption and immigration as well as Net Neutrality, growing from $4.5 million in 2016.

Apple's push against the repeal of Net Neutrality included a letter from August 2017 urging the FCC not to roll back the rules. Apple's letter discussed internet "fast lanes" and "slow lanes," where paid fast lanes could result in an "internet with distorted competition." Apple ultimately said this ruling could "fundamentally alter the internet as we know it," and if it passed it would be put in place to the detriment of consumers, competition, and innovation.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Net Neutrality Repeal Made Official With Entry Into Federal Register
 

tzm41

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2014
243
679
Boston
Groups are going to file lawsuits because the government doesn't have laws?
Apple has a few billion in the bank. Perhaps they could become an ISP and show the world how it is supposed to be done.
Apple is just another business. They will do whatever that benefits them.

Also, why are you dragging Apple into this? They never said they were interested in ISP market.
 
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nt5672

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,026
4,412
Its too bad people don't take the time to realize and read what this was really about. The title Net Neutrality was totally misleading if not an outright lie. What the law meant was that the government could make any rules it wanted at any time without the involvement of Congress. Of course they did not make any controversial laws right now, because they did not want to upset the Apple cart (he he). But once they have established the authority, then slowly but surely they can implement censorship or whatever other private agenda the government wanted.

That original law was good for Tech companies because they spend so much money on political issues that they could determine what was done and when. Without this law, Tech companies have to compete against each other by disclosing and reacting to their users. This is a lot harder to do and to control. But it is the best for consumers.
 

tzm41

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2014
243
679
Boston
Its too bad people don't take the time to realize and read what this was really about. The title Net Neutrality was totally misleading if not an outright lie. What the law meant was that the government could make any rules it wanted at any time without the involvement of Congress. Of course they did not make any controversial laws right now, because they did not want to upset the Apple cart (he he). But once they have established the authority, then slowly but surely they can implement censorship or whatever other private agenda the government wanted.

That original law was good for Tech companies because they spend so much money on political issues that they could determine what was done and when. Without this law, Tech companies have to compete against each other by disclosing and reacting to their users. This is a lot harder to do and to control. But it is the best for consumers.
This is a very classical use of slippery slope fallacy. Using the same mindset one could also say that ISPs will start charging people $50 each month to access any video website, and $50 to access any news website, and so on...

If we want anarchy we wouldn't have formed a government. It needs to strike a balance between over-regulating and under-regulating. Simply saying market/society will correct itself is proven wrong so many times with depression, financial crisis, mass shooting, heavily polluted cities, etc.
 

Trik

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2011
322
754
Washington, DC
Good. Net neutrality was unfair for businesses and didn't make sense for the consumer long term. It was anti-capitalism and would ultimately prevent businesses' growth and negatively affect the future of the internet.
I agree. People complain when they don't get everything for free.
Man the United States slant for this conversation is ridiculous. The Internet is global, it is bigger than the United States. "anti-capitalism" ... Yes, the Internet wasn't created to make money for corporations. The entire world doesn't subscribe to capitalism. If greed wasn't an issue in late stage capitalism, we wouldn't have Enron, banks "too big to fail", the entire Union movement, etc.
 

jimothyGator

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2008
276
905
Atlanta, GA
This is a very classical use of slippery slope fallacy. Using the same mindset one could also say that ISPs will start charging people $50 each month to access any video website, and $50 to access any news website, and so on...
Incidentally, that's exactly the claim that NN proponents make, including right here in this thread.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,473
8,166
Somewhere
Its too bad people don't take the time to realize and read what this was really about. The title Net Neutrality was totally misleading if not an outright lie. What the law meant was that the government could make any rules it wanted at any time without the involvement of Congress. Of course they did not make any controversial laws right now, because they did not want to upset the Apple cart (he he). But once they have established the authority, then slowly but surely they can implement censorship or whatever other private agenda the government wanted.

That original law was good for Tech companies because they spend so much money on political issues that they could determine what was done and when. Without this law, Tech companies have to compete against each other by disclosing and reacting to their users. This is a lot harder to do and to control. But it is the best for consumers.
Unfortunately you appear to be the one who doesn’t know what it is. With Net Neutrality internet regulation rested in the government which was accountable to voters. Now that it has been repealed regulation is the responsibility of unelected unaccountable businesses. If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of ISPS to choose from you likely will not see much of an impact. If you only have the choice of one or two you will end up paying much higher prices for the same thing or probably about the same for much less.
 

Trik

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2011
322
754
Washington, DC
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