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Net Neutrality Timeline of Major Historical Events

Posted by QuoteColo on February 22, 2019 - Updated on February 22, 2019

Net Neutrality Timeline


Over one year ago, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality. Net neutrality lasted from 2015 – 2018. These protection rules dictated that broadband providers weren’t allowed to slow down or block access to the Internet, and they weren’t allowed to charge certain companies higher fees and favor other companies in which they have a partnership with.


The main principle and idea behind net neutrality are that Internet Service Providers must treat all data on the Internet the same. ISPs must charge the same prices no matter the user, content, and website. With the old net neutrality law, ISPs couldn’t slow down certain websites or charge more for sites that pulled more data.


One year after its death, people are still fighting for the net neutrality and the idea of a free Internet. Taking a look at the net neutrality timeline, and pros and cons could give us an insight of what to come for the future of the Internet.

Net Neutrality History: Challenged in court

When the Obama administration put the net neutrality law in place, the FCC also adopted the rules to protect these ideologies.  They also included broadband in the same legal classification, thus giving the FCC the power to regulate it. Internet service providers complained that the rules took a toll on investments. They especially didn’t like the new classification of broadband, because they believed it might give the government the agency to set their pricing.


The recent challenging of the law, which brought net neutrality to its end, wasn’t the first time net neutrality was challenged in court. In 2015, a couple industry groups including AT&T sued the government, with the argument that the FCC shouldn’t have the right to reclassify broadband. The FCC won the challenge in court, and the FCC held control.

Net Neutrality Regulations Repealed

On December 14, 2017, the FCC voted to repeal the 2015 regulations. And in June 2018, the rules were disregarded. This means that there is no rule in place to keep Internet Service Providers from slowing down or even completely blocking your access to certain things on the Internet. There are also no rules in place to keep these companies from favoring their own services and their partner’s services, over its competitors.

The Federal Trade Commission

Currently, the Federal Trade Commission oversees and regulates broadband now. The FTC will be the ones taking action against companies that violate contracts with consumers, but because they are busy with overseeing consumer protection and competition for the whole economy, they can’t give the same attention to this issue as the FCC could.


Current Net Neutrality News

Many people want to see net neutrality rules be put back in place. There are new lawsuits filed by major technology companies including Mozilla, Foursquare, Vimeo, and Kickstarter. There have also been multiple state attorneys general who has filed lawsuits against the FCC to bring back net neutrality as well.


Earlier this month, February 1st, 2019, net neutrality defenders were able to present an oral argument against the FCC. Some of the major arguments that were discussed were on telecommunications vs. information, backstops, public safety, and state laws. The judges are expected to make a decision by this summer. Until then, net neutrality is still a thing of the past.

Pros and Cons of Net Neutrality

There are some undeniable advantages of net neutrality. Freedom of speech and expression is a foremost advantage when it comes to net neutrality. For example, sites such as YouTube can continue to grow its users and viewers. Video bloggers and aspiring musicians can post content without being censored. Blog sites and small businesses will continue to have the ability to post content without the worry of being censored. Without net neutrality, Internet Service Providers can take down anything they want, or anyone who isn’t paying a premium to keep their sites on the web.


Another of the major advantages is that the Internet stays neutral. This simply means that unless the content is illegal, it will be available for the public to see. There will not be any regulations against it. Internet Service Providers won’t be allowed to block access or modify the stream of data to the viewers.

With net neutrality, the Internet would be classified as a public utility. It would be under the same bracket as water, electricity, telephone service, and gas. These are the essentials to everyday life. If we have net neutrality, the Internet will still be known as a necessity. Without net neutrality, the Internet will be known as a luxury, and they can increase prices tremendously.


The disadvantages are mainly for Internet service providers, but we should still discuss them. Streaming has become more popular in our current media-consuming world. Services such as Netflix, Hulu, Skype, and FaceTime all use a tremendous amount of data. And it doesn’t matter how much data we use, Internet Service Providers get paid the same amount. This is a big disadvantage for the providers, and they believe they should get paid more for data usage.

How Data Centers Will Be Affected

The data centers will be affected if Internet Service Providers decide to raise their rates. Data centers will also feel the price changes if providers start charging extra to transfer higher bandwidth content. This will directly affect data center customers because those who need this service will be charged more. These changes will probably be in the long term, and it will certainly depend on how service providers take advantage of their new power. The ball is in their court.


One year after the repeal of the net neutrality hasn’t quite brought any big changes to the Internet, as we know it. But this was predictable. Most people believe the changes would take some time. But I believe, now more than ever, net neutrality is needed in our world. In our current political climate (no matter what side you are on), the need for free speech is necessary. The need for uncensored voices being heard is essential. The Internet shouldn’t be considered a luxury; it’s a necessity. A free Internet may be the only way we can express ourselves freely without any repercussions or restriction. The decision coming this summer is a very important one in our history.


This article was written by Michael Isberto. Isberto is the Blog Director and a Content Writer for Colocation America. He received his B.A. in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Public Relations at CSUSB. Isberto is a Communication professional with additional experience in Public Relations, Marketing, and Social Media.



Categories: Government

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