2Bits: With Net Neutrality repealed, will your cost for…
Timing is everything…The USDA is committed to bringing the Internet to rural areas.
Now net neutrality rules are gone. Will high speed Internet really be high speed?
Will the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) repeal of its 2015 Net Neutrality regulation impact the rate you download data or content from the Internet? Time will tell…
In 2017, the FCC repealed a 2015 rule that stated Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must provide neutral gateways to all Internet users.
The 2015 rule categorized the Internet as a utility and prohibited charging different rates when content was downloaded in different ways. ISPs could not block websites or targeted content. However, now the Internet is classified as an information service, and governing and oversight changed from the FCC to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The repeal states that ISPs may not slow content, a practice known as throttling, and block content on their networks. If an ISP throttles or blocks content, then they must disclose this to consumers and the FTC. The FTC decides if the ISP has violated anti-trust laws. If they are found in violation, then the throttling and content blocking must stop.
The question is when will disclosure be made? After users file complaints?”
Will the number of alleged violations filed with the FTC become overwhelming?
Will this repeal encourage ISPs to manipulate traffic on their network by downgrading services and increasing prices, which could hurt small farmers, other small businesses, and consumers in rural and urban areas? The Institute for Local Self Reliance states prices will rise because of the limited number of ISPs, as many areas in the U.S. only have one ISP provider. The Institute estimates that 177 million Americans live in areas where the only Internet Service available is from an ISP with previous net neutrality rule violations.
Will it be easier to compromise net neutrality because recourse is harder?
Supporters of net neutrality say the FTC tends to be more reactive than proactive, acting only after consumers are harmed. Consumers will not be the only ones impacted. ISPs may promote businesses they have a relationship with by throttling or manipulating the bandwidth of other businesses. Net neutrality ensured small and big companies received equal bandwidth at listed data upload and download speeds.
Website performance and speed affects web search results.
This affects the rankings of sites during Internet searches and could negatively impact farmers and small businesses. It is possible that consumers, farmers, and businesses will be forced to pay more to access faster lanes of the Internet to ensure their websites perform well. Slower bandwidth impacts user experiences on websites and social media.
ISPs say the 2015 rules were burdensome. These rules stifled innovation and investment.
Consumer advocacy groups state this will lead to many different standards and quality of service. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have sued to block the repeal of net neutrality rules. The Internet Association, representing tech giants including Netflix, Facebook, and Google, has sued to stop the repeal.
Don’t wait to see if the repeal of net neutrality impacts your farm’s online presence. 2BuyAg is staying updated on ISPs. Come join our online community and marketplace. Give yourself more time to focus on growing and raising amazing produce and livestock products.