This is a follow up from a prior article about net neutrality (here).
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard of the recent 9th Circuit decision essentially striking down net neutrality which ruled that the FCC’s rules regarding anti-discrimination and anti-blocking. Those rules were:
“The second rule prohibits broadband operators from blocking lawful content on their networks. These rules differ in strictness depending on whether the provider is a fixed-broadband provider or a wireless operator. Fixed-broadband providers, such as cable operators and DSL providers, abide by a more stringent set of rules, and wireless operators adhered to a less strict version of the rules.
And the third rule applies only to fixed-broadband providers and it prohibits "unreasonable" discrimination against traffic on their networks.” – cnet
The actual legal reasoning is less interesting than how it well might affect you. The FCC will continue to regulate the internet.
In the article (cnet link above) those faq type questions are answered well. I don’t expect price changes soon, but I figure they will be coming: They won’t be decreasing, and that’s for sure. The other “sure thing” is that this will most likely be appealed, and hopefully on a First Amendment basis.
I see net neutrality as THE free speech issue of the internet age. When the ISPs raise rates, they are by default changing internet access. To me, this puts a “Poll Tax” on one’s right to free speech. The ‘little guy’ will be competing with the ‘Comcasts’ and the ‘Verizons’ for the net. The ‘free market’, in this case will favor whoever can pay more. This will also harm small businesses, as well as innovation on the internet (backed by Google, Facebook, and Amazon).
Unfortunately, the ISPs and big boys aren’t expanding the infrastructure, and why should they? That would require capital outlay, as well as enabling lower prices. Think: Gold, Silver and Bronze levels of service. The good? Services (like streaming video) would likely become more reliable. Worse (and more likely) will be wars like the one CBS had with Time-Warner, with the little guy caught in the middle. Just imagine such a war WITHOUT the anti-blocking provision. If it were with Google or Amazon, access to those sites could be blocked until a fee was negotiated.
My pov? It makes no sense to allow ISPs to become the arbiters of who gets to start a business or who gets access to various sites. It makes MUCH more sense (economic, etc.) to require the ISPs to develop their infrastructure to encourage business. The issue is really no different than maintaining and developing roads, railroads, bridges, etc. No one would agree that big corporations should get preferred access to them. Same for the internet, imho.