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The Federal Communications Commission's "net neutrality" rules were originally established to ensure that leading Internet service providers would not block, degrade, or otherwise undermine some Internet services at the expense of others.However, on Jan. 14 of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit published an 81-page document that struck down these rules. If Internet service providers are given the freedom to discriminate in such a way, they will be able to effectively control which services that are provided over the Internet work best, or indeed work at all.If this power is left unchecked, however, it could result in higher prices for services, barriers to innovation, and de facto censorship of information services.With the stakes so high, and so many people and businesses impacted by the decision, it may be possible to enact new protections that ensure that broadband Internet service providers do not have the last word on what services work best, or work at all.
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