Net neutrality officially ends June 11

Challenges to the change are unlikely to take forceful effect in time, though reversal remains possible

The United States Federal Communications Commission announced yesterday that its reversal of the 2015 Open Internet Order, known as net neutrality, will officially take effect on June 11, 2018.

The decision to end net neutrality was made by the FCC in late 2017 by a 3-2 vote headed up by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Under net neutrality, broadband internet is required to be regulated as a utility, preventing ISPs from throttling, slowing, or speeding up certain websites or services based on paid partnerships with companies.

When the new rules go into effect on June 11, providers will be legally able to adjust the speed of content to benefit companies from which they stand to profit.

Plenty of opposition remains, though it is unlikely to take effect before the change is enacted. Earlier this week, the US Senate filed a petition under the Congressional Review Act, forcing a vote to restore net neutrality that will likely take place next week.

If the vote passes (a simple majority is required), the measure will still need to be taken up by the House and pass the President's desk, a process that will likely take some time as the House would have until January of 2019 to vote. Both Senate and House have struggled to find bipartisan support for net neutrality despite wide support from voters on both sides.

If that fails, various legal challenges to the removal of net neutrality have been taken up, including a lawsuit filed by 21 attorneys general in January. In addition, companies may find it difficult to impose undesirable throttling or speeding of content in certain major cities. A pledge signed by over 100 US mayors promises to deny business to ISPs that do not follow net neutrality standards, law or no.

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