Repeal of net neutrality protections takes effect

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP/WHDH) — The repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections officially goes into effect Monday.

The change is the result of a Federal Communications Commission vote in December to repeal the rules that ensured equal treatment for all web traffic.

The rules ensured that providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon wouldn’t interfere with internet traffic by favoring their own sites and apps. Critics, including the Trump administration, said overregulation was stifling innovation, and they backed the FCC’s move.

The FCC’s move has stirred fears among consumer advocates that cable and phone giants will be free to block access to services they don’t like or set up “fast lanes” for preferred services — in turn, relegating everyone else to “slow lanes.”

Tech companies have been signaling that the repeal of net neutrality could lead to significant financial consequences.