Chances are, if you have been anywhere near a TV or computer in the past month, you’ve heard (a lot) about Net Neutrality. The one thing we might get everyone to agree on when it comes to this issue is that the loss of Net Neutrality has been one of the most heatedly discussed and meme-ified controversial issues on the internet to date.
How did we get here?
Let’s do a quick recap. For those of you who need this because you aren’t sure what Net Neutrality is, nobody need ever know!
Net neutrality was enacted as developing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) wanted to ensure open access to content, applications, and other networks without preferential treatment or restrictions. The idea was enacted in 2015 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed regulation in the form of reclassifying internet access as a Title II Communications Service and imposed strict net neutrality rule on broadband and wireless internet providers.
This is where things get interesting. The major internet providers argue that by removing the act it will increase competition and boost development.
However, content providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon view this as potential favoritism for content either by requiring special packages or charge for speed levels to access their offering across the general internet. The biggest voice for net neutrality seems to be coming from small business e-commerce sites selling artisan and non-mainstream items, check out this recent article on CNBC.
That’s not to say there aren’t some valid points given from the other side. Like in this article.
How might this repeal affect your business and how you use the internet?
In general it will probably shift the responsibility of where you host your applications or business services so that customers can reach them easily. We may even see partnerships crop up with major carriers and hosting sites to improve network and cloud application reliability and speeds. In general, the cost of content and services will probably increase while internet speeds and pricing improve for end users. As far as increased completion, the termination of net neutrality will not necessarily increase the number of providers who build into rural or hard to service areas. There are even cases being built to roll out municipally-owned internet networks in order to circumvent carrier restrictions and excessive cost. This may be a false argument since even municipal infrastructure needs to connect to the internet using carrier level service, thus creating a city-owned extension cord to the same internet.
As far as the total outcome of the FCC repealing net neutrality, the results will be different for both the consumer and business front. As with any regulation, we would expect large providers and corporations to find work-arounds and loopholes to bend the repeal and find ways to develop product offering and service restrictions to their advantage. We will hear about the stand out stories of small business and consumer being affected by the changes.
Haven’t heard enough about Net Neutrality? Check back with us in the upcoming weeks for even more on this topic! Hopefully there will be an update on how the situation is going soon.