As a result of a 2017 ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on net neutrality, internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon are now able to control the internet as they wish. Net neutrality was the idea that all internet traffic is and should be treated equally, regardless of where it comes from or what kind of data it contains. This idea, however, was ruled against by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which means that internet service providers can prioritize internet traffic as they please. This has resulted in customers being overcharged for their internet and has affected their internet access.
So far, governors in Hawaii, California, Vermont, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, Montana, New York, and Rhode Island have signed executive orders that prohibit internet service providers from limiting their customer’s internet access, thus forcing them into net neutrality. In cities and towns where this is not happening, they are taking matters into their own hands. The most notable effort comes from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they have built their own high-speed, fiber optic internet network. With more cities following in their footsteps, many American cities are getting rid of internet service providers and replacing it with their own, cheap, internet networks where no major internet service provider can put limits on their internet service.