In short, they helped guarantee equality for all voices and prevented censorship. But with this repeal, which rolls back regulations passed under the Obama administration in 2015, high-speed internet is no longer a utility regulated by the federal government.
"We're disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement". Many online-reliant companies, and individual brand owners, could see a massive backlash for this as well. We've done a good job of mobilizing against the FCC. "We will continue to fight the FCC's decision and advocate for strong, enforceable net neutrality protections". They're not even trying to make real arguments.
Watch how the disruption unfolded below.
The Internet service providers (like Comcast, AT&T) are often in the content business and have potential conflicts of interest.
Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) called the announcement "bad news", while House of Cards creator Beau Willimon tweeted how "generations who haven't been born yet will look back and be grateful for the millions who fought to save our country from those driven purely by shameless greed".
In the near term, experts believe that providers will stay on their best behavior. Comcast addressed many common criticisms in a blog post, stating that it had "no plans" to create internet "fast lanes" via paid prioritization agreements. It will likely be up to the courts to decide if that provision was lawful or not. The rules keep the internet open, free, and unrestricted, preventing ISPs from becoming gatekeepers that can control and manipulate what people access on the internet.
Blocking: Internet service providers could not discriminate against any lawful content by blocking websites or apps.
The FCC voted to repeal net neutrality, or the idea that Internet service providers can't block or favor websites. So say goodbye to your flat-rate monthly fee for internet!
It's not too late, however, and it's important to know what's going on. Inform yourself and be a part of the future process. The FCC clearly has put the ISPs profits above the benefits of consumers and of the overwhelming majority of businesses.
Who will be challenging the vote?What does this mean for you? It may start small, but as consumers get used to differentiated services the trend could pick up. What's been popular lately? "Here are just a few of the things you will still be able to do on the Internet after these Obama-era regulations are repealed", at which point he told Americans that they could still "gram your food" and "binge watch your favorite shows".
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is reportedly so upset over the FCC vote he is leading a multi-state lawsuit to overturn it. Lawmakers cannot hide from their constituents on this issue. One of the scariest things about the repeal is how much power huge corporations will have over what we see and don't see.
Roger Kay, technology market analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, Inc.
Signs that those on the left and the right remained split over net neutrality also came Thursday when conservatives weighed in with their reactions.