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Net neutrality: Will Congress Save Internet Freedom?

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Net neutrality is not dead -- yet.

The Save the Internet Act, unveiled in both houses of Congress on March 6th, 2019, aims to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) December 2017 decision to repeal net neutrality.

The obvious question is: What if it doesn't pass? The not-so-obvious answer is: the bill can help win the net neutrality battle even if it doesn’t pass.

Before we examine the impact of this bill, let's go over a few background facts.

Related: 3 Ways the Net Neutrality Repeal Can Damage Your Business

The net neutrality rules of 2015 prohibited Internet Service Providers (ISP) from blocking, throttling or slowing down lawful content on any websites or apps, or creating "fast" lanes for preferred content and "slow" lanes for everyone else. However, the net neutrality repeal of December 2017 allowed ISPs such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and others to do two things:

Slow down or block websites and apps of organizations unless they pay ISPs higher tariffs

Ask consumers to pay more to access certain websites or groups of sites.

Startups and small businesses are the most vulnerable in a world without net neutrality. They simply don't have the means to pay huge fees to ISPs to ensure that their websites or apps are not slowed down.

After the 2017 repeal, there have been several incidents of speed throttling and site blocking. Here are a few notable violations during 2018.

The California fire incident: In August 2018, during the largest known fire in California history, Verizon throttled the internet speed of the fire department in Santa Clara County to 0.5 percent of its original speed. Fire officials stated that this........

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