ISPs Claim No Plans for Paid Prioritization in wake of Net Neutrality Repeal

The repeal of net neutrality rules officially went in effect on Tuesday, July 12, allowing internet service providers (ISPs) the right to block, throttle, or prioritize internet traffic depending on customer payment rates.

Fortunately, for the time being, Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have announced that they will not be participating in any of these practices.

However, Charter has released a disclosure that only promises to not participate in blocking or throttling, but did not make any statements on paid prioritization. For now, no change has been made by Charter to charge websites and online services for priority access to consumers. ISPS are required to disclose paid prioritization publicly so customers are not caught by surprise.

Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Charter are the four biggest home ISPs in the U.S.

AT&T has released statements on their network practices page explicitly stating they will not be throttling or blocking. “No, AT&T does not favor certain websites or internet applications by blocking or throttling lawful internet traffic on the basis of content, application, service, user, or use of nonharmful devices on its broadband internet access services.”

The page also states that they will not directly or indirectly favor traffic,”in its provision of broadband internet access services, AT&T does not directly or indirectly favor some traffic over other traffic in exchange for consideration from a third party or to benefit an affiliate, except to address the needs of emergency communications, law enforcement, public safety (including FirstNet), or national security authorities, consistent with or as permitted by applicable law.”

Verizon also released statements sharing opinions with AT&T. “We will not block any legal internet content, applications, or services based on their source or content.” and “We will not throttle or slow down any internet traffic based on its source or content.” They also state that the company will not accept payments from any company to increase the speed at which they receive data, seeking to maintain fair handling of internet traffic.

Comcast has also updated their network management disclosure page to say that the company will not block or throttle lawful internet traffic and that they will not be accepting payments for prioritization. "Comcast does not directly or indirectly favor some traffic over other traffic, including through use of techniques such as traffic shaping, prioritization, or resource reservation, in exchange for consideration, monetary or otherwise,” says their page.

Charter, however has only promised to not slow down, block, or discriminate against lawful content, saying,  “We don’t slow down, block, or discriminate against lawful content.”, but makes no mention of paid prioritization.

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