By: Bill Kelso
What Small Business Owners, Startups, and Entrepreneurs need to know about the future of our open Internet and how it could affect day-to-day work.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the idea that your access to the Internet either your cable Internet connection or your wireless LTE Internet connection. However, you are receiving information from the Internet that pipeline to the Internet is not allowed to pick favorites in terms of the content we consume. For example, you like to get your news from CNN and your roommate likes to get news from FOX News. Your Internet service provider such as Version or Comcast cannot slow down CNN because FOX News is paying them more money. In other words, your service provider is prohibited from speeding up, slowing down, or blocking any content, application or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is how the Internet has always worked, but the Trump Administration plans to roll back Obama Era-Net Neutrality rules.
Background of Net Neutrality
In 2010 the Federal Communications Commission wrote Net Neutrality rules governing Internet Service Providers. This was regulated under the Title 1 act of the Communications Act of 1934. Verizon successfully sued to argue that the FCC didn’t have the authority to enforce the Title 1 rules. This required the FCC to reclassify Net Neutrally rules under the Title 2 act of the Communications Act of 1934. This past year President Trump appointed New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai who has been known for being anti-regulation and used to work as a lawyer at Verizon.
Arguments for Net Neutrality:
Net Neutrality would allow the Internet Service Providers to control certain speech on the Internet stopping hateful messages. Net Neutrality would allow sites that you pay for to load much quicker than they ever could on the free and open Internet. With fewer people on the Internet would move faster overall.
Arguments Against Net Neutrality:
A free and open Internet helps prevent unfair pricing practices by Internet Service Providers. Also, it fuels the completion of the Internet Service Providers. A free and open Internet promotes innovation, the spread of ideas across platforms, and drives entrepreneurship. A free and open Internet allows companies to compete on a level playing field when people want to get to their websites. Net Neutrality would hurt a lot of smaller businesses and nonprofits by slowing down their sites to promote larger companies that do the same work as them.
Three Possible Solutions for Net Neutrality:
The first solution for Net Neutrality is that ISP could charge based on very specific content types and duration of use. This would allow corporations to charge more for certain content. While the general public will be able to keep the Internet open.
The second solution for Net Neutrality is to put the government in charge of the Internet and make the Internet free for the public. This would require citizens to pay for the Internet in taxes like people do for public schools. This would allow the Government to be in control of what content they want us to view on daily basis. Also, any person with a computer or phone in the United States would be able to have access to the Internet anywhere.
The third solution for Net Neutrality is to keep the Internet as is and continue to charge based on speed alone. Today, we never really know if our provider is slowing down certain websites for their business. At least right now our Internet is supposedly free and open. While this still gives us the opportunity to run our small businesses, create startups, and become Entrepreneurs.
What You Can Do
If you would like to keep our Internet as is please go to this website. Please tell the FCC you would like to preserve a free and open Internet and that you support Title 2.