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Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Activists Attempt Last Ditch Effort to Save Net Neutrality - Hit & Run

Activists Attempt Last Ditch Effort to Save Net Neutrality - Hit & Run

Ellis SchumerDem leaders condemn Trump after reversal on G-7 communique endorsement Dem lawmaker: Trump conceding "role as leader of the free world" after G-7 summit Schumer: Trump "turning our foreign policy into an worldwide joke" MORE (D-N.Y) is blaming congressional Republicans for the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net neutrality rules, a shift which goes into effect Monday.

"It's now as clear as day to every American that - with the exception of three Republicans in the Senate - their Republican representatives in the Congress chose to protect special interests and the biggest corporates over middle-class families, average consumers, entrepreneurs and anyone who relies on the free and open internet", Schumer said.

Supporters of net neutrality say killing the protections lets ISPs charge more and limit online access. To commemorate the occasion, FCC chairman Ajit Pai - the man mainly responsible for the repeal of Net Neutrality - penned an op-ed piece for CNET in which he champions the dissolution of internet regulations.

Even if the vote doesn't make it through the House, these efforts are forcing politicians to publicly choose a side on the matter, decisions that could affect how successful their reelection campaigns are in the future.

"Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality", she continued.

Monday, June 11, marks the official end of the US government's net neutrality rules, which had required broadband providers such as AT&T, Charter and Verizon to treat all Web traffic equally. In his view, removing the rule will open the floodgates to corporate investment, ultimately providing faster and more widespread internet access. We're also waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will agree to hear a separate lawsuit on net neutrality.

As part of this shift, oversight of internet protections will shift from the FCC to the Federal Trade Commission.

The Obama Era laws protecting net neutrality are finally gone. "It's not going to be easy, but if the whole internet comes together to fight, we can win". Supporters of net neutrality have also said that without regulation, a greater socio-economic digital divide could develop, creating a class of information "haves" and "have nots".

But they could start charging extra for services not yet offered.

The Senate voted 52-47 last month to overturn the FCC's plan, but the House, which is doesn't intend to take up the issue-making the Senate's move largely symbolic.

Net neutrality protections, first put in place during the Obama administration, will end on June 11.

"I don't think anything gets better for consumers", said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the five-person commission. The FTC can't take action unless something can clearly be proven to be "unfair or deceptive", something that's tricky to do in the net neutrality realm where anti-competitive behavior is often disguised as routine network management. In January, attorneys general in 22 states and the District of Columbia filed a protective petition for review of the order.

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