Under net neutrality, internet service providers were classified as utilities instead of information services, and subjected to broad federal regulation.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai told "CBS This Morning" that the new rules will provide a "light touch approach" that produces "tremendously positive" benefits for consumers. The old rules, called Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet, prohibited internet providers from blocking or slowing down websites or prioritizing their content over others.
A fierce debate has surrounded the concept of net neutrality.
"It's business as usual on the internet today - movies are streaming, e-commerce is thriving, and advocates are using the internet to make their voices heard", said Jonathan Spalter, president of broadband trade group USTelecom, which counts AT&T and Verizon as members, in a statement Monday.
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The internet probably won't immediately become (more of) a dystopian nightmare.
Current FCC chairman Ajit Pai spearheaded the effort to return the internet to the way it was before the rules took effect, and despite the overwhelming support for keeping the rules intact, the FCC voted 3-2 to reverse course.
Supporters of net neutrality are concerned that without it, we could lose access to a free and open internet.
Pai said the repeal of net neutrality would be beneficial to consumers, saying the old regulations stood in the way of cheaper, more widely available Internet. The rollback took effect officially on Monday.
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Washington's net neutrality rule casts enforcement as a provision of consumer protection in an attempt to avoid stepping into federal telecommunications statutes.
"The public is outraged and fighting tooth and nail to get Congress to overrule the FCC - and it's likely that that will happen before ISPs can do too much damage", Greer said. They're anxious the providers will charge consumers extra to reach particular sites and services in a speedy manner, either by directly billing them or by charging companies like Netflix, which could be expected to pass on the costs to their subscribers. Though whether anything will change depends on where you live, and what internet service providers choose to do with their newfound freedom. Comcast, for example, has changed its stated commitments concerning net neutrality and no longer mentions anything about paid prioritization, otherwise known as fast lanes. But the push is unlikely to succeed: while a vote in the Senate has put pressure on the House, the larger Republican majority in House is likely to keep things from going any further.
The Internet Association said Monday that the "internet industry remains committed to restoring net neutrality protections through the courts, legislation, and administrative action".
At least 22 states have filed suit with the FCC over the repeal and many have passed their own net neutrality laws.
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