Net Neutrality Rules Set to End in June

Net neutrality rules in the U.S. are set to end in June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Thursday. Reuters reports that a notice by the FCC sets the end date around June 10.

Net neutrality was a set of laws that required for internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally. That meant that every person has the same access to information on the internet no matter which service provider or internet packet they use.

The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines late last year to scrap its 2015 Open Internet Order, despite backlash from Democrats and protesters calling for an open internet. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has argued the FCC overstepped when it imposed the restrictions.

Others have argued that repealing the rules would allow for major internet companies, such as Comcast or Verizon, to abuse their powers as internet gatekeepers and drive up the costs of internet use.

The decision has resulted in multiple lawsuits to keep net neutrality and has prompted lawmakers to introduce legislation that would reinstate the rules. 

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats officially began their push to force a vote on net neutrality under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). If the resolution is passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump it would reverse the repeal of net neutrality measures.

In February, a coalition of 22 state attorneys general refiled legal challenges intended to block the Trump administration’s repeal of net neutrality.

Pai has repeatedly said that he is confident the agency’s order will be upheld.

Meanwhile, Democrats have stated that they are sure the Net Neutrality issue would be one of the key factors in November’s midterm congressional elections, especially among younger internet-savvy voters, Reuters wrote. Republicans say that the FCC repeal is meant to eliminate heavy-handed government regulations and it will contribute to encouraging investment and will return the internet to pre-2015 rules.

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