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Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, FCC On Track To Remove Rules As Scheduled

Ajit Pai chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, pauses while speaking during an open meeting in Washington D.C. U.S. on Thursday Nov. 16 2017

But as the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of the rules takes effect, states are pushing their own laws to protect their version of a free and open Internet.

Net Neutrality was implemented during the Obama administration in 2015, prohibiting internet providers from charging more for specific online content or from giving preferential treatment to certain websites. FCC chairman Ajit Pai joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss why he thinks the rollback is "tremendously positive" for consumers. Deregulation could potentially change what you can access on the internet.

They can also set up "fast lanes" for preferred services - in turn, relegating everyone else to 'slow lanes'.

We talked to the owner of Mad Mike's Computer Repair, who says that how much ISPs decide to block or slow down websites and apps may depend on whether people keep or leave their providers.

"But it has sparked an unprecedented backlash from across the political spectrum, and internet users are coming out of the woodwork to fight tooth and nail in Congress, in the courts, and at the local and state level", she continued. Most major internet providers have publicly pledged not to cherry-pick consumer content, though activists say without enforcement those are largely empty promises.

Pai argued that net neutrality created a disincentive for internet services to invest in their networks. Many Internet providers, such as AT&T and Verizon, have said they do not and will not block or slow content. Comcast has also said it does not block or slow content and has no plans to offer paid prioritization. Net neutrality is dead. But what's more likely to occur are subtle changes to your Internet experience that you may or may not notice.

As Michael Cheah, general counsel at video site Vimeo, previously told CNNMoney: the point of the rules was "allowing consumers to pick the winners and losers and not [having] the cable companies make those decisions for them".

The net neutrality rules were approved in 2015. Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's essentially how the internet has worked since its inception. Although the direct effects of the repeal are unknown, companies will have to assess how much change consumers will tolerate, according to the Associated Press. Pai said, "The United States is simply making a shift from pre-emptive regulation, which foolishly presumes that every last wireless company is an anti-competitive monopolist, to targeted enforcement based on actual market failure or anti-competitive conduct".

OR also enacted a net neutrality law, signed in April and that goes into action in 2019, but it only restricts state agencies and other public bodies from contracting with network providers that don't meet non-discriminatory provisions.