The End of Net Neutrality

June 11, 2018 saw the official end to Net Neutrality. Now what exactly does this mean for the future of the internet? Over the next couple of week’s there will probably be no major changes, instead we will likely see an increase in deals like the ones T-Mobile and AT&T have where customers can stream certain services on their mobile devices without worrying about data caps. The working theory now that net neutrality rules are no longer in effect, are that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can now prioritize their own content while slowing down other services.  

Person sitting at a computer desk shopping online next to open notebooks.

Additionally carriers are now allowed to share users web browsing history and are allowed to use this data for ad targeting (this privacy regulation was rolled back in April 2017). Both AT&T and Verizon have expressed interest in growing their digital ad revenue and competing with the likes of Google and Facebook. With the fallout of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytical scandal, this brings up a lot of questions regarding consumer privacy. However, many digital marketers may flock to the platforms now that they have limited targeting capabilities on Facebook as a result significant limitations being placed on major data powerhouses.

Legislation has been submitted to stop the repeal of net neutrality and passed in the Senate, however, it has not yet come up in the House to be voted on. A letter was sent to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan from a group on senators urging him to bring the issue up for a vote, however since the repeal of net neutrality is backed by the Trump Administration, the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Republican controlled House.

More than 20 states have filed a lawsuit in order to stop the repeal of net neutrality and some states have either passed or have legislation pending to keep net neutrality in effect at the state level. However as part of the repeal, the FCC included a clause preventing states from passing this type of legislation. This means the battle for net neutrality could become a legal battle.

If you believe in the free and open internet, now is the time to get involved. Reach out to your representatives and let them know that you do not support the repeal of net neutrality and make sure to vote in midterm elections this November!