FCC net neutrality policy scheduled to end on April 23, 2018

Absent action from Congress to block the change, the current FCC policy favoring net neutrality will end on April 23 of this year.  Documents were filed fo Federal Register on February 22 whcih would revoke the existing regulations requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to treat all Internet content equally, a policy referred to as net neutrality.

The changes to the current regulatory structure will make it possible for ISPs to enter into agreements with Internet services which will prioritize traffic to those services across the ISP's network.  For example, if Netflix wants to assure priority treatment for traffic to their site over ATT's network, ATT can charge Netflix a premium to assure that service.  ISPs will also be allowed to prioritize access to their own Internet services while slowing traffic to competitors' sites.  ISPs will also be allowed to adopt strategies to prioritize Internet traffic to selected services.

The move away from net neutrality - passed by the FCC along a party line divide - has been challenged wih lawsuits from various network service providers as well as suits filed by 20 state attorneys general.  Some states are considering their own action to require net neutrality, but the FCC's regulatory filing also asserts authority to prevent any such action by state governments.  Some US Senators are moving legislation to override the regulatory action by the FCC and have 50 sponsors, but passage of any such legislation in the US House is much more problematic.

Still confused about net neutrality?  Here is a quick, funny explanation in terms easy to understand courtesy of Burger King.  (Yes, that's right: Burger King!)