Then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called it a victory, saying the rules allowed the commission to act as an Internet "referee". "The consumer is going to be protected and we preserve the incentive for companies to build out better, faster, and cheaper internet access".
He wrote that the biggest USA internet companies - Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft - controlled much of the online infrastructure, from app stores to operating systems to cloud storage to almost all of the online ad business.
The repeal of "net neutrality" takes effect six months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to undo the rules, which had barred broadband and cellphone companies from slowing down or blocking sites of their choosing or charging more for higher speeds.
What's more, internet advocates have always been concerned that if broadband providers are able to create so-called fast lanes to particular sites and services, they will in effect slow down traffic to all other locations on the internet.
That may sound annoying for Netflix users, but it's easy to imagine farther-reaching consequences given the ubiquity of the internet, which now functions more like electricity than an information service.
Now, all that is legal as long as companies post their policies online.
The battle isn't entirely over, though. And three other states, California, New York and IL, plan to pass their own versions soon.
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Still, supporters have hoped to force a public vote on the issue, because with midterm elections looming some lawmakers might be swayed as net neutrality is a resonant issue with voters. In 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC - the nation's premier consumer protection agency - of its authority over internet service providers. Most now have service terms that specify they won't give preferential treatment to certain websites and services, including their own.
"At the dawn of the commercial Internet, President [Bill] Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed on a light-touch framework to regulating the Internet".
No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. We're still not creating fast lanes. He has spent more than eight years covering the ways that tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google navigate the corridors of government - and the regulations that sometimes result. Broadband providers, he said in an interview, had been "unfairly and inappropriately the target of this angst or fear".
"The people really want a free and open internet", Hansen said.
Some states are trying to ensure that net neutrality is in effect, these states include Washington, Montana, and NY; other states have legislation pending.
That's another reason companies are likely to move slowly, at least at first.
"If certain services are blocked or throttled, they get it", Mr. Doyle said.