One day before the Federal Communications Commission voted on the reducing of the net neutrality regulations, which were meant to make sure the internet service providers do not favor particular ads or online content over the others, Ajit Pai, the chairman tweeted a short video reassuring Americans that they would still be able to post cute videos of animals. Of course, his sarcastic attempt at downplaying the issue did not go down well with a lot of parties.
Mark Hamill, the actor who portrays Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars series heavily criticized the FCC Chairman for his condescension and siding with the corporations. Since the decision to deregulate net neutrality, several headlines have come out detailing the death of net neutrality at the hands of the FCC and so forth.
The Basis of Net Neutrality
For those who are still in the dark about net neutrality, the concept is quite straightforward. Internet service providers such as Verizon, AT& T and Comcast are the major ones currently being utilized by the workforce. In the past, the service providers were regulated via general regulations against the anti-competitive behavior and consumer protection.
For the most part, the regime did work. With different exceptions, the content providers enjoyed equal access when it concerns internet service when it came to distribution of content and consumers with internet service. It was only in 2015, that the FCC under Barrack Obama enacted the rules of net neutrality to classify these service providers as utilities and deter them from the development of discriminatory practices which would block or slow the content down or even from getting payment so that they could favor particular sources of content.
Reasons to Worry
That does not mean, however, there is not a reason to be worried. Since 2015, the ISP’s have increased when it comes to vertical integration of the content. This has been in the form of acquisitions by both Verizon and AT&T. a formidable group of monopolies has been the result which can easily abuse their powers if they so wished.
Net neutrality is the only way considering these developments. A balanced regulatory environment is not going to only provide an incentive for these internet service providers to deploy the internet infrastructure which is going to benefit the clients. On the other hand, it is also going to provide peace of mind to the entrepreneurs, small business entrepreneurs and the providers across the industries that it is going to be a level playing field as a result.
Democratic officials and large internet firms argue the consumers are going to now experience different speeds on the internet based according to which broadband or wireless providers being utilized.
In the event, the service pays for better access to a provider which is known as ‘paid prioritization’. For example, there is the case of Verizon which can provide Netflix with a ‘fast lane’. Some would go further to argue that internet providers will eventually start to censor the content or sites that they do not like or have not paid. The fact that the Republicans are stating regulatory issues would be dealt with by the FCC is not assuring especially since it was the FCC which deregulated net neutrality in the first place.