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It's official. The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality protections takes effect today.

Will my access to Netflix or other sites slow down?

Whether you're trying to buy a necklace on Etsy, stream a series on Netflix, or upload a photo to Facebook, your internet service provider has to load all of those websites equally quickly.

But only time will tell if the latest decision will lead to the slow death of the open internet as we know it - or whether the predictions have been too drastic. They will have the right to discriminate and favor the Internet traffic of those companies with whom they have pay-for-play arrangements and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road. Some states are moving to restore net neutrality, and lawsuits are pending.

Lawmakers and tech companies are still fighting to save net neutrality. Comcast, for example, has changed its stated commitments concerning net neutrality and no longer mentions anything about paid prioritization, otherwise known as fast lanes. With startups unable to pay for these lanes, there is no chance that small, unsupported entrepreneurs will turn into future Snapchats or Facebooks, as this repeal only preserves the monopoly that the handful of tech giants now enjoys along with the powers of a few ISPs.

Internet service providers now have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content.

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Meanwhile, even before the end of the net-neutrality rules, several broadband providers, including AT&T and Verizon, were experimenting with so-called zero-rating programs.

Enacted in 2015, the rules sought to stop providers giving preferential treatment to sites and services that paid them to accelerate their data.

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

But wait. What exactly is net neutrality? But late in the Obama administration, the FCC opened up an inquiry to see if they violated the general conduct provisions. Ahead of the December 14 commission vote that ended those Obama-era net neutrality regulations, current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called those same rules a " heavy-handed, utility-style.mistake" and pledged to stop the federal government from "micromanaging" the internet by introducing a new set of "internet freedom" regulations.

Do the states have any say about this?

. Today, those net neutrality rules were officially rolled back.

Net neutrality looks set to live on in piecemeal form as some U.S. states are enacting legislation that will require telecoms companies operating in their territories to abide by similar laws. Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level. "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", Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of the broadband industry group USTelecom, stated today. "Americans in every state and across the political spectrum support rules that ban ISPs from blocking, throttling, and prioritizing web traffic".


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