How’s Your First Day of No Net Neutrality Going?

Photo by Ghost Presenter on Unsplash.

We are now in a no-longer-net-neutral world — which I think we have to call “net-biased,” right? — and I’m curious how y’all are taking it.

As a quick recap of what this all means and what it might mean for the future, let’s go to Slate:

The repeal of the rules known as net neutrality, which essentially prohibit internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to certain websites, is officially set to take effect on Monday. Lawmakers and state officials are working to try to reinstate the rules shortly so the change may not be long-lived but that doesn’t change the fact that starting June 11, internet service providers will be much freer to block, speed up or slow down access to certain content.

Slate notes that ISPs probably won’t implement their net-biased freedoms all at once. Instead, they’ll slowly slow things down — giving us just enough time to forget how things used to be, and just enough frustration to be ready to pay extra for the “Facebook and FaceTime” package.

The Washington Post takes a slightly more optimistic stance, reminding us that ISPs won’t be allowed to take action on this new law without telling us:

Many Internet providers, such as AT&T and Verizon, have said they do not and will not block or slow content. Comcast has also said it does not block or slow content and has no plans to offer paid prioritization. Of course, these commitments could change in the future, and indeed, some close observers have noticed subtle shifts in Comcast’s promises already. But the companies can’t simply promise one thing and blatantly do another, at least not without risking FTC litigation.

OOOOOOH, FTC LITIGATION!!! The world’s strongest deterrent!

The WaPo also predicts that, instead of slowing down Netflix to get more money out of consumers, ISPs will be more likely to do things like give “discounts on Internet service in exchange for letting your broadband provider mine your browsing history and other personal information.” Which, since the rest of the internet is already mining our browsing histories, shouldn’t feel like that big of a change.

What do you think? Are you expecting any significant changes in a post-net-neutral world? Is this decision likely to be overturned? Would you take that discount on your internet package in exchange for letting even more corporations suck data out of your browsing history?

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