Although you may have seen news reports to the contrary, the rules of open internet are still in place as of Monday, April 23. Yes, the Federal Communications Commission published its “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” in the Federal Register 60 days ago, signifying its intent to repeal the Obama-era protections that kept net neutrality in place; but because the Office of Management and Budget has yet to approve the new order, the old rules still apply.
That doesn’t mean change isn’t coming; it just means it has been delayed for a little bit.
While some of the smaller changes have gone into effect, the major ones—which would allow things like bandwidth throttling, content blocking and paid prioritization—cannot go into effect until OMB approves them.
Once OMB approves the changes, there will be another publication in the Federal Register and another waiting period.
In the meantime, there is still a chance to save the open internet and prevent any of this from happening.
Congress can still use the Congressional Review Act to stop the repeal. You can find out where your representatives stand on the issue and ask them to fight to keep the internet open and free for everyone.
If you think this is something you can easily ignore because it doesn’t affect you, you are wrong.
Imagine if Sinclair Broadcast Group started up a broadband company and decided that The Root wasn’t deserving of a reading audience. Imagine if your ISP told you that if you wanted to access The Root, you had to pay an additional fee. Imagine if every time you tried to pull up The Root on your phone, your cellphone company slowed down your data service.
These things can happen if the rules protecting the open internet are not in place.
Think about it, and then reach out to your representatives and let them know how important the open and free internet is for everyone.