FCC repeal of net neutrality has states scrambling to restore it

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So-called "net neutrality" rules were repealed Monday by the FCC, opening up the possibility that some websites will be given priority over others or could be slowed down or even blocked. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Equal access to the internet is no longer required by law. So-called "net neutrality" rules were repealed Monday by the FCC, opening up the possibility that some websites will be given priority over others or could be slowed down or even blocked.

However, that doesn't mean net neutrality is going away without a fight.

RELATED: Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends

Two competing bills are going through committees at the state capitol in Sacramento that would put restrictions back in place to bar internet service providers from blocking, slowing down or giving preference to some services over others.

Twenty-eight other states are trying to do the same thing. However, that could lead to different rules state-by-state.

"FCC had very clear language in their ruling that the states cannot have their own rules," said Prof. Ahmed Banafa, cybersecurity expert at San Jose State. "Because the ISP and the big telecom will have a problem dealing with different laws and regulations in different states."

The FCC stands firm in its position of sticking with its repeal.

RELATED: Net neutrality voted out, now what's next?
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Connie Guglielmo, editor in chief of CNET news stopped by ABC7 News to discuss the decision to repeal Net Neutrality and what impact that may have on technology.



In a statement, the commission said, "This light-touch approach will protect consumers and deliver better, faster, cheaper internet access and more competition to consumers."

Analysts don't think consumers will see major changes immediately. With time, however, critics worry that access will either cost more or be unavailable to those who can't afford it, making this an economic issue.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo thinks the loss of net neutrality goes beyond that. "These kinds of barriers that are likely to come as a result of the FCC's actions," said Liccardo, "are going to undermine everything that we believe in here in Silicon Valley about the democratization of information."

The legislative bills to restore net neutrality are still going through committees in the Senate and Assembly. It may take until the end of August before they're up for vote. Then, potential legal challenges lie ahead.

VIDEO: What does the end of net neutrality mean for me?
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The way the internet is regulated in the US is about to change.

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