The repeal of net neutrality ushers in a new chapter of the internet that could eventually transform the way Americans communicate, shop and consume information online.
The Federal Communications Commission’s party-line vote Thursday to dump the Obama-era rules, which required internet service providers to treat all Web traffic equally, opens the door for companies like Verizon and AT&T to experiment with new business models free from government regulation.
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality prevents ISPs from slowing down connections for people attempting to access certain sites, apps and services, and blocking legal content.
Without the rules, they’ll no longer have to treat all internet traffic equally, and will be able to prioritize certain websites and services over others.
Many of the world’s biggest internet companies staged a day of protests earlier this year, to highlight what could happen if net neutrality was ended.
Reddit, for instance, altered its logo to make it look like it was loading extremely slowly, while the likes of Netflix and Amazon added banners to its homepage.