"The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy", Fight for the Future Deputy Director Evan Greer said in a statement. "But it has sparked an unprecedented backlash from across the political spectrum, and Internet users are coming out of the woodwork to fight tooth and nail in Congress, in the courts, and at the local and state level".
The issue of net neutrality has sparked intense debate in the USA since last April when FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, announced that under his leadership the FCC would repeal landmark net neutrality rules created under President Obama in 2015.
No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. Nine in 10 American households use the internet, according to Pew Research Center, for everything from researching recipes, communicating with friends and family by marking themselves "safe" on Facebook or Googling symptoms of a medical issue to see whether a trip to the emergency room is needed.
In Monday's op-ed, he repeated his argument that the internet thrived without net neutrality rules in place for most of its existence. Under the new guidelines, ISPs can block, throttle, or prioritize internet content as much as they like, as long as they clearly disclose to customers that that's what they're doing.More news: Trump uses 'movie trailer' in pitch to Kim Jong Un at summit
"This was a loss for consumers and a mistake we have reversed". The rules also barred a broadband provider from, say, slowing down Amazon's shopping site to extract business concessions.
For now, broadband providers insist they won't do anything that would harm the "internet experience" for consumers.
However, companies are likely to drop these self-imposed restrictions; they will just wait until people aren't paying a lot of attention, said Marc Martin, a former FCC staffer who is now chairman of communications practice at the law firm Perkins Coie. The industry is moving towards faster internet speeds like never before, while the internet remains open, without any of the kinds of paid priority, zero-rating or service bundling that plagues the cable industry.More news: USA extradites former Panama president
"It's patently illegal for the states to make their own internet policy", Roslyn Layton, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who served on President Trump's transition team for the FCC, told CNNMoney last month. Network investment topped $1.5 trillion.
The repeal decision is now facing a lawsuit from Democratic state attorneys general and consumer groups. "People should be able to access the information that they're looking for, regardless of what their internet provider believes in".
Perhaps the repeal won't change the direction of the internet.
Today, those net neutrality rules were officially rolled back. Siding with AT&T might clear the way for more consolidation, while siding with the government could cause telecom giants to think twice about buying companies in new lines of business.More news: Google will ban inline extensions starting with Chrome 71