Recently, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) voted 3-2 on repealing the Net Neutrality law that was passed in 2015. This law was used to keep the internet neutral among all of its users as well as Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the United States. What this basically equates to is that organizations or companies can now throttle internet speeds for businesses and individuals while also being able to charge a premium to utilize certain websites. The risk of web traffic for certain websites receiving higher prioritization over others is also now a possibility due to the repeal.
History of Net Neutrality
Chairman Tom Wheeler is a big player in Net Neutrality, and a name that you may well know. Once considered a lobbyist for the big names in the cable and internet industry who now challenges the lawfulness of the neutrality bill, Wheeler set forth the rules that enforce Net Neutrality and boundaries towards telecommunications. Considered a controversial player, Wheeler’s firm stance on the competitiveness of the internet service industry and the entrepreneurial spirit of the venture capitalism was strongly endorsed by the Obama administration, and solidified his position favoring and endorsing the FCC regulated Neutrality law. Again, in 2015 he reinforced the neutrality rules to make it ever harder for big brand names to throttle content deliver speeds and paid prioritized internet speed. In the most recent post from Ars Technica, Wheeler criticizes the newly appointed FCC commissioner as “selling out… to consumers and entrepreneurs at the behest of major Internet service providers”.
The New Face of the FCC
Former commissioner, now Chairman, of the FCC, Ajit Pai is the new face of Net Neutrality at the center of controversy. According to his profile on the FCC site he is said to consider “Broadband is critical in modern American Life”. A strong proponent of fiber-optic lines he enforces the mantra of “democratization of entrepreneurship” as the answer to the strongly regulated former rules of the FCC. While reinforcing the “revitalization” of the AM radio and the “threat of contraband cell phones in jails”, he has been the forerunner towards unique challenges that modern broadband technology has ushered into the 21st century. His plans have largely been criticized as overlooking the consumer in favor of providers of broadband services. Pai has unfamiliar, yet poignant, stances towards his position in the FCC, such as free market initiatives, prohibiting arbitrage in big name providers and standing besides the “basics of economics” rather than letting monopolies rule.
Who Does Net Neutrality Affect?
Three billion people have access to the web – according to Time – so a significant proportion of the population would be affected. There has been no conclusive evidence that any industries will have priority to throttled broadband services, but considering that the vast majority of online activity is through social media providers and online educational resources, it has yet to be announced which industry will receive prioritization or proposed “throttling” under the new FCC regulations.
The Future of the Web
With the FCC deregulating the Net Neutrality ruling of 2013, this will also take away the individual state right to Net Neutrality rules and legislation against the changes in the FCC regulations. This means that the individual states cannot set regulations against the FCC rules, leaving individual states at the mercy of the legislation which has power over the applicable rules of the FCC. This will introduce more competition among the broadband service providers. Another facet of the FCC ruling is that broadband service providers may charge consumers more to access certain sites on the web, Something which is unique to the new FCC regulations introduced this week.
How Net Neutrality will affect your website is just as significant as it ever was. It is now more important to prioritize your website needs and budgeting in order to grow your brand and deliver your content to your clients. Picking the right broadband provider that will not throttle your broadband services is a reality. This also has the potential to save you money in the long run, with more companies competing for your brand and website service privileges. Introducing more competition in the broadband landscape will lead to more competitive prices, in addition to web services which are more adaptable to fiber optic cable possibilities and products that will compliment the services currently available.