THE USA has officially repealed the rules surrounding net neutrality, first enacted under the Obama administration.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied that the relaxed rules that could now lead to "fast lane" and "slow lane" internet are going to cause issues or impact on free speech.
It means, in effect, that the cable companies which provide the majority of US broadband can charge preferential rates for faster speeds - an option that may now be the only choice for larger users like Netflix.
For home users, it means the possibility of slower speeds on websites that choose not to pay, and for home users, anything but ‘basic cable' could see major price rises say critics.
But FCC Chairman and proven dick Ajit Pai has denied all such concerns pointing out that plenty of companies became global giants before the Obama era rules.
In reality, the changes will be difficult to fully enforce as a number of states have brought in their own federal laws which will override the FCC decision. Washington, for example, will see no difference as its law came into effect as the federal one expired. California, New York and Illinois are also set to bring in legislation, thus bringing over half the US population back under net neutrality.
New York has been acting as a conduit to 22 states who have been legally protesting the Pai mantra, along with consumer groups nationwide, and even Congress, though it's unlikely that the Republican-led Senate will overturn a decision from a Republican-led White House, which would then have to be officially repealed by a Russian Republican-led President.
Additionally, the FCC is facing accusations that it faked a DDoS attack to strengthen its case.
At present, the rules regarding net neutrality don't affect the UK directly, though they may affect the speed of traffic from servers of some US-based websites. The EU has already voted to preserve Net Neutrality, however, post-Brexit, a Conservative government could seek its own deregulation, and therefore knowing your enemy is key. µ
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