Would you rather have net neutrality or an open internet?

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

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

"I don't like the idea that someone like Amazon could pay more money and have more access to my customers", Black said, "I think that I wouldn't get as much business and you know that translates into jobs and sales".

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who voted against the repeal, said Monday that the decision put the FCC "on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public".

Some big ISPs have said they have no plans to throttle internet traffic. They couldn't slow down or block websites and apps of their choosing.

Now, all that is legal as long as companies post their policies online.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you've heard about the impending death of net neutrality.

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The battle isn't entirely over, though.

Q. What's net neutrality, again?

The repeal effectively narrows what the federal government would consider a net neutrality violation.

But many advocates expect that sooner or later, broadband providers will act in ways that would have violated the former rules.

Most now have service terms that specify they won't give preferential treatment to certain websites and services, including their own.

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Those might sound the same, but in practice they're very, very different.

Any changes now, while the spotlight is on net neutrality, could lead to a public relations backlash. But companies are likely to start testing the boundaries over the next six months to a year. Well, you might not see any changes until ISPs like Comcast and AT&T change their terms of service.

In particular, the repeal that went into place gives ISPs legal permission to create fast and slow lanes online - certain websites and content will load more slowly, while others will be blocked outright. This is typically used by streaming audio and video services for mobile devices to provide a benefit to their subscribers by reducing cellular data use. Such a scenario could be particularly devastating for startups with ambitions of becoming the next Netflix or Hulu, as they will have a much harder time paying ISP fees to compete early on.

The FCC is also facing a number of lawsuits from consumer rights groups as well as state attorneys.

The recent FCC's staunch opposition to net neutrality has been met with waves of public backlash, at one point amounting to almost 22 million comments being submitted to the its website, as well as criticism from policy experts who say a repeal of the rules will let internet service providers give preferential treatment to some websites, including their own. With startups unable to pay for these lanes, there is no chance that small, unsupported entrepreneurs will turn into future Snapchats or Facebooks, as this repeal only preserves the monopoly that the handful of tech giants now enjoys along with the powers of a few ISPs. Even some technology companies joined the fight to preserve net neutrality, including Mozilla and Vimeo.

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Martin said broadband providers probably won't mess with existing services like Netflix, as that could alienate consumers.

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