Don't expect major changes to how you access your favorite websites and services despite a federal appeals court's decision to set aside rules meant to ensure equal access to entertainment, news and other online content.
Major cable providers already have pledged not to do the kinds of things the rules were designed to ban. And the rules didn't apply fully to wireless providers anyway, even as Americans are increasingly using mobile devices to access Internet content.
Under so-called net neutrality rules adopted in 2010 by the Federal Communications Commission, wired broadband providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon Communications were barred from prioritizing some types of Internet traffic over others. That means a cable company couldn't hinder access to Hulu and other Internet video services, even though they compete with the company's own TV services. Under some interpretations, a broadband provider also couldn't charge services such as YouTube and Facebook for preferential treatment, such that users could reach those services faster than those that don't pay.