Net neutrality protections, first put in place during the Obama administration, will end on June 11.
The Federal Communications Commission's rules preventing Internet service providers from blocking or slowing legal traffic, or charging for faster delivery of some content, passed with much fanfare in 2015, are history as of Monday. The idea was to keep the internet open and uncensored.
Last month, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill to reverse the FCC's decision. Despite efforts from state officials and members of Congress, there will now be fewer rules governing how Internet providers can operate. In a statement at the time, FCC chairman Ajit Pai framed the upcoming repeal as removing burdensome regulations.
Supporters of the repeal say that it will remove problematic regulations.
Massachusetts Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, both Democrats, were among those who backed the measure to maintain net neutrality.
"Those "fast lanes" will put those who won't or can not pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV", Sohn says.
The US has officially repealed rules that governed the way net providers treated the data that travelled across their networks. It will head to the State Assembly, where hearings will begin in June and must be voted on by the end of August.
The order went into effect on June 11. Several states, including New Jersey, Washington, Oregon and California, have gone so far as to push legislation to enforce the principles of net neutrality within their borders. The new rules, the Restoring Internet Freedom order approved by the FCC in December 2017, require ISPs to disclose any blocking, throttling or prioritization of their own content or from their partners.
The general uncertainty around the future of net neutrality is likely to extend through much of this year, according to those pushing for legislation and litigation, if not longer. Per the net neutrality order, states can not enact any legislation that attempts to circumvent the repeal.