The US agency, Federal Communication Commission ( FCC ) will no longer protect the Net Neutrality in the USA. The agency repealed the regulations that enabled them to regulate the Internet.


Net Neutrality, What is it & Why you should be worried?

Generally, Government Agencies represent interests of people, unless you are in a country that places organizations above people.

Elon Musk has previously raised concerns about government’s reckless behaviour in the past.

You might have heard about the Net Neutrality, but what is it?

Net Neutrality is something that keeps the Internet Service Providers from monopolizing and abusing the Internet in their interests.

But after FCC’s ruling, the ISPs will regulate the market as they wish.

For Example, if your service provider XY & Z decides to launch their own food, cloth, or drug industry. Then they can make rules that support their businesses.

The ISP’s can ask the businesses for incentives to run an Internet-based business. This model can be further become monetizable to promote specific businesses above others.

Look at it like this, Right now the Internet is free, we pay for the bandwidth only. But once the ISP gets to decide what goes on the Internet and what doesn’t, things will change for worse.

As of now, the Internet is a service and a basic utility, after deregulation, the Internet will become akin to a utility.

The absence of a regulator will only enable the companies to monopolize the Internet.

It is not the first time that Net Neutrality has been a target, previously in India, the facebook tried to launch as free basics services.This would have promoted certain services like Facebook while others won’t be free.

In 2015, the Obama administration placed laws to keep the Internet free and open space. On 15th December 2017, the Trump administration repealed the FCC’s regulation.

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The Case for Net Neutrality

As of now, the Internet Service Providers do not charge you for many obvious things like :

  • Voice over IP, Chatting, Social Networking – The phone companies want to monetize the VOIP, Chatting & Social Networking. These three things are often seen as a replacement for a standard phone call. And phone companies wanted to incentivize themselves for allowing such services on their network, as they take a hit on their market.
  • Better Service Quality – After removal of the regulations, the ISP is no longer liable by law to provide a decent service quality. And there are simply not many service providers in the market to create a healthy competition.
  • Technical Support – Right now The ISP give their customer free technical support, in absence of regulator and competition, this will change.
  • Availability – For remote areas, the ISP has to put extra bucks, so they may charge you for this.
  • The advent of New Technologies – It is evident that with the free Internet many innovations take place, like Consumer Drones, Cryptocurrencies, Free Apps etc.

Case against Net Neutrality

The Net Neutrality is contested only by the Internet Service Providers. The case is that the broadband gives many facilities that help the business grow but the ISP in return doesn’t get anything.

Many businesses, like Social Networking sites, E-Commerce, Email services, etc are flourishing by selling their services on the Internet. But the ISP doesn’t get a cut in their profit like they do in telemarketing over the phone.

Other “case” is that once regulations are not in place, the ISPs will have to compete with each other for keeping their customers and Innovating new technologies.

Why FCC’s stand is flawed

FCC’s stand is facing criticism by many pioneers of technology. Here is why FCC’s stand has severe flaws:

  • The absence of regulator will simply make market tough for startups and new companies.
  • The tech giants like Google, & US States are lobbying against the Ruling which makes it hard to believe that this ruling is anywhere near in favour of people.
  • It hasn’t worked before. The organizations that monetized the internet died with the time long ago. Internet survived because of the free market and independent networking.

What’s Next?

The Tech Giants are ganged up against the federal government to block this bill to become a law. As of now, the public won’t be affected by the FCC’s ruling. The Federal Government will face a huge resistance from states and lobbies, & they might just drop this.

So let’s hope that FCC comes to its senses and let the Internet be free.

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