The morning after the Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai went on Fox & Friends and made a case that those who are concerned the move will damage the internet have already been refuted by their own lived experience.
“Those who have said that the internet as we know it is about to end have been proven wrong starting this morning, as people send emails, check on their Twitter accounts, post on Facebook, and the like,” Pai said. “We have a free and open internet going forward, and the FCC and FTC going forward are going to make sure that happens.”
But Pai’s comments are misleading — nobody expected changes to happen overnight. As TechCrunch explains, internet service providers like Comcast have good reason to move slowly.
“ISPs are under extreme scrutiny right now, both from regulators like the FTC (which will be put back in charge of them) to grassroots activists watching for any unseemly network practices,” TechCrunch writes. “For them to immediately change their practices right after the regulations change would be hypocritical in the context of their repeated arguments that they already respect the no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization rules.”
That said, small but significant changes have already happened. For one, Comcast quietly scrubbed a number of key pledges from its website, including one not to curtail the speed at which content is offered to consumers.
Here's what @comcast removed from their Net Neutrality page. They no longer promise to:
-Not throttle back the speed at which content comes to you
-Not prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes
-Make internet accessible to low income familieshttps://t.co/tRoOTyATYk pic.twitter.com/LqhnwwYSGv
— Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) December 14, 2017
The FCC also faces lawsuits from numerous states that seek to block the net neutrality repeal from becoming law.
So while ISPs had good reason not to immediately charge you more for scrolling through your Twitter feed, it’s way too early to draw conclusions — despite Pai’s spin.