"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", said consumer group Fight for the Future. Led by its then-Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler, the FCC approved rules that banned the blocking and slowing of Web content by Internet providers.
Under the new law, ISPs are required to disclose any blocking, throttling or prioritization of their own content or from their partners on customers' broadband connections. Some consumers fear a slower Internet and higher costs for broadband delivery. Those on the political left (and about 83 percent of Americans) feel that net neutrality regulations were important for personal freedom and made for a more fair marketplace. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, governors in six states - New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Hawaii - have signed executive orders upholding net neutrality, and three - Washington, Vermont and OR - have enacted legislation that does so. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a video statement that while some regulations have been rolled back, the "transparency rule" has been expanded. Well, guess what: they've finally, actually killed net neutrality.
Pai claimed in a CNET op-ed that the repeal preserves the Internet as "an open platform where you are free to go where you want" and that it "will protect consumers and promote better, faster Internet access and more competition".
While Portney said it's unclear if or when internet consumers could see pay-to-play package deals for certain internet services, but he says it's likely.
In May, congress overturned the repeal with a bipartisan vote in the Senate. In 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC - the nation's premier consumer protection agency - of its authority over internet service providers.
Today marks an official turning point in internet policy in the United States. In most circumstances, a bill does not reach the floor of the House of Representatives until voted out of the committee in which it was assigned. In reality, the FTC will only be able to enforce a company's own terms and conditions, which won't do anything to stop the spread of paid fast lanes, zero-rating, or anti-competitive behavior across the industry. Some states, like New Jersey, Washington, and California, have been actively working on state laws that would keep net neutrality alive within their jurisdictions.