When will net neutrality theoretically take effect?
The news is in, and people aren’t happy: The FCC has voted to end net neutrality. This could have enormous implications for people who use the internet (so in a word, everyone). In case you’re unclear, net neutrality protection policies were put in place under the Obama administration, and were designed to ensure that internet service providers couldn’t, for example, charge users more money for visiting certain sites. With the end of net neutrality protections, people are scrambling to figure out what comes next.
Without laws in place to protect users, internet providers are largely free to do whatever they want. They can charge you for using Twitter, place a fee on websites they (or their owners) don’t like, and demand extra money for what used to be effective standard service.
So now that the FCC has voted to repeal net neutrality, when will we see changes to our internet?
Theoretically, it will take the FCC a few weeks to finish adjusting the rules. After that, they’ll file their results with the Federal Register, which will likely mean a few months before the actual end of net neutrality.
HOWEVER, realistically, the FCC will be fighting off several major lawsuits and appeals in the coming weeks and months, and the decision could ultimately be turned over to Congress…meaning there’s no telling when the appeal will take effect — if it finally does, indeed, pass. Basically, there are too many variables to attach a timeline to any potential changes at this point.
In the meantime, many Americans are determined to keep fighting the decision. You can read about ways to resist here.