Net neutrality is dead. Public outcry thrust the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to end net neutrality into the headlines, but now that the change is official, many are left wondering what happens next. As we’ve previously discussed, the repeal poses quite a potential threat to small businesses. The stakes are high.
So, what can we expect in the days to come now that our access to the internet may be limited by commercial entities?
What are the new rules?
The repeal of Open Internet protective regulations took legal effect June 11, giving Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sweeping power to slow, block or offer “paid prioritization” to some websites as long as they disclose the practices. The FCC Chairman issuing the rollback of prior protections argued that the new regulations will ensure more investment by providers and create a more competitive environment amongst ISPs.
On the other hand, being able to reduce access to competitors (such as any small business) could greatly reduce consumers’ ability to choose within a free market.
What to expect
Most experts believe that for the time being, consumers and net neutrality advocates won’t see their day-to-day lives change — at least not right away. Fortunately for proponents of net neutrality, major ISPs seem to be lying in wait to enact changes to their services. That may be due to the 22 states that have sued the FCC over the repeal.
While the federal appeals court in Washington has not set a date for oral arguments to be held, investigations into internet provider activity for potentially anticompetitive behavior will be monitored by the Federal Trade Commission, free of FCC oversight.
Unfortunately, there’s no predicting what ISPs will do with their new-found power over the internet or if the courts will ultimately reinstate the regulations instead.
Negotiating a professional IT strategy in this era will require finesse and calculated decision-making. If you don’t have a full-time CTO, you’re not out of luck. Switchfast offers vCIO’s to help businesses strategize for the ever-changing IT security climate. Contact us to learn how a vCIO can prepare your business for the upcoming changes to consumer Internet access.