How New Internet Regulations Will Affect Your Business
Making headlines this week is the new Internet Regulations approved by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) on Thursday, February 26, 2015. Labeled as a ‘net neutrality’ plan, the FCC has taken a law from the 1930’s and applied it to modern day technology. However, it has been said that not all of Title II will be applied to the Internet. To which I think O’Reilly said it best:
“Title II includes a host of arcane provisions. The idea that the commission can magically impose or sprinkle just the right amount of Title II on broadband providers is giving the commission more credit than it ever deserves.”
Who wants more government control?
Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, in short, was designed to make radio, television, and telephone regulated (and more affordable). However, there has been controversy of the government being involved in such regulations and having too much control, even to the point of being accused of violating the first amendment by filtering content it deemed inappropriate. And I’m still waiting for my affordable cell phone plan and cable.
Under Title II, the Internet would become a “telecommunications service” rather than an “information service” and it limits how much control Internet service providers (ISPs) can have regarding what passes over their networks. ISPs would not be able to favor fast loading content providers on a ‘fast lane’ over slower content providers on slower connections. Why? Because the whole idea behind ‘net neutrality’ is that all content providers must be seen equal and not one website should be favored by ISPs. There has been talk that some ISPs have manipulated traffic without notifying customers and favored the faster sites or blocked the sites of their competitors, bringing about the approval of this plan. But let’s just say Obama supports it, so there’s going to be undoubtedly major consequences. Remember Obama Care?
What does ‘net neutrality’ mean for your business?
The Internet will be treated as a public utility and change dramatically. Smaller businesses will no longer be able to afford to even keep an online presence due to prices going up and websites will be slower. Big companies and large corporations already have their own fast broadband services like dedicated computers for their sites, so instead of making a level playing field, smaller businesses will be edged out. Opponents warn of future price regulations. It also opens the door to more taxes – just what we need! Did we mention more government control over something that doesn’t need it? The Internet is designed to be accessible to everyone, and this new plan states that this is the objective – we aren’t buying it. What are your thoughts on this debate – Equal Internet for all or secret plot for more government control?