Net Neutrality is a proposal that ISP and government regulators should treat all data on the Internet as the same to prevent broadband companies from favoring their own content over competitors', passed by the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC).
Now, the FCC has taken an awkward step to erase the rules protecting the internet, with the regulations no longer in the rule book, and the final step of removing it spearheaded by the new Republican-led FCC.
While the original rules were passed in the Obama-era in 2015, with many people agreeing to the basic principles of the net neutrality rules, albeit some specific rules had been a subject of intense controversy.
The controversy stems from the fact that the rules can't hold up in court, as the Democrat-led FCC had reclassified broadband networks to fall under the same regulations that govern telephone networks, what Ajit Pai, the FCC Chairman called "heavy-handed" and "a mistake," arguing that it will deter innovation and investment in building and expanding broadband networks.
The FCC then voted on December 14 to repeal the 2015 net neutrality regulations, which prohibited broadband providers from favoring partner companies willing to pay extra to reach consumers more quickly than competitors.
Today, the rules were officially removed from the FCC books, after the commission's publication of the final notice of the repeal in the Federal Register.
However, the move doesn't mean no one will be policing the internet any more, as the Federal Trade Commission has been saddled with the new responsibility and to intervene against companies that violate their contracts with the consumers or participate in any fraudulent activity.