US backtracks on net neutrality
The rules requiring internet service providers to treat all data to be treated equally have been reversed.
The US has repealed rules which governed the way internet service providers prioritise their service.
The now repealed rules required that internet service providers deliver every website and service at the same speed.
Without the protections, critics argue that internet service providers have incentive to strike deals with websites and services, speeding up or slowing down certain websites.
This could encourage ISPs to segment the internet into a series of differently priced ‘packages’.
US government agency the Federal Communications Commission and its chair Ajit Pai are responsible for the repeal.
Pai argued that a reversal of net neutrality was important for innovation, citing the growth of Facebook, Amazon, and Google prior to its introduction in 2015.
But according to polls, the American people overwhelming favour net neutrality.
As net neutrality is reversed states including Washington and New York are bringing in similar legislation at a state level to counter-act the changes.
The FCC is also facing legal challenges from consumer rights groups over its decision, and US Congress plans to debate a motion to overturn the decision.