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Thursday, May 10, 2018
'Net Neutrality' Rules Will Officially End on June 11

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that the 2015 U.S. open-internet rules will cease on June 11.

The FCC in December repealed the "net neutrality" rules, allowing internet providers to block or slow websites as long as they disclose the their actions.

The Obama-era rules bared internet service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain online content. Once they take effect, the new FCC rules would give internet service providers powers to change how consumers access the internet but include new transparency requirements that require them to disclose any changes to consumers.

The rules require an ISP to publicly disclose network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access service sufficient. As part of these disclosures, the rule requires ISPs to disclose their congestion management, application-specific behavior, device attachment rules,
and security practices, as well as any blocking, throttling, affiliated prioritization, or paid prioritization in which they engage.

This means that ISPs are allowed to block or otherwise prevent end user access to content, degrade or impair access to Internet traffic, favors some traffic over other traffic, including through use of techniques such as traffic shaping. ISPs can do these actions as long as they disclose it, and of course explain the reasons behind their actions. As you realize, ISPs can take these actions in the name of public protection, privacy e.t.c.

The rules also require ISPs to disclose performance characteristics, including a service description and the impact of non-broadband Internet access services data services.

Finally, the rules require ISPs to disclose commercial terms of service, including price of the service, privacy policies, and redress options.

The new rules were a win for internet service providers like AT&T Inc and Comcast Corp but are opposed by internet firms like Facebook and Alphabet Inc.

The U.S. Senate is set to vote as early as next week on whether to reject the FCC repeal of the net neutrality rules.

In February, a coalition of 22 state attorneys general refiled legal challenges intended to block the Trump administration's repeal of net neutrality. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has often said he is confident the agency's order will be upheld.

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