The Net Neutrality ruling has been repealed. It originally came into effect in 2015 under Barack Obama’s presidency and had banned internet providers from throttling speeds, blocking certain websites, or giving favorable treatment to sites as long as they are indulged in legal activities. In other words, ISPs were legally bound to treat web traffic equally irrespective of its source. The “neutrality” in Net Neutrality calls ISPs to be neutral on all said aspects mentioned above.
The spotlight of the ruling was the aspect that ISPS should not charge money to prioritize traffic for certain sites or apps, but that holds little significance now. For instance, US-based ISPs at a liberty to block or throttle speeds of a peer-to-peer websites or applications used to download movies or other types of content over the web. Even the bandwidth of an internet service can be throttled by ISPs, which means that you may have the “best internet deals in my area” but bandwidth throttling may put the speed at risk.
Besides, the internet services are no longer a “utility”, as mentioned under the Communications Act’s Title II. Instead of FCC, ISPs now fall under the jurisdiction of FTC. In other words, the Federal Trade Commission can regulate the behaviors of ISPs and take a decisive action such as levying a penalty if it is called for.
There was so much of skepticism, when FCC chairman Ajit Pai first proposed the deregulations of Net Neutrality. The skeptics argued that this would give the control to internet service providers and that most major ISPs having a customer base in their respective nationwide footprint does not help either. Meaning, if one or two top ISPs choose to take advantage of the repeal, such practices will not be beneficial to customers.
On the flipside, Net Neutrality repeal also means that ISPs who chose to take advantage of it will have to disclose that they have opted for that practice to FTC. It is no grey area of legislation. Further, not all internet service providers have expressed that they would capitalize on the deregulations. Maybe disclosing that is a matter, which can have an effect on the reputation of the top ISPs in the US.
Look up on the internet for a list of “best internet deals in my area” and you will land up on a page that reveals the top plans from best ISPs. Yet remember, now the market is at their disposal, as they have the authority to block sites, throttle speeds, and even censor web content.