United States – FCC Net Neutrality Repeal

December 14, 2017

United States – FCC Net Neutrality Repeal

Padmini Arhant

Internet is a common ground and a public domain. Life revolves around technology. Technology is an integral part of life. Technology has made life efficient and for many including myself, technology is fun and exciting with an opportunity to perform work from anywhere – home, office, during travel day or night. Technology’s usefulness is mostly derived from internet access. That being the case, the corporate control of cyberspace restricting and extending service of their choice that would affect vast majority of internet users is not a viable course.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to repeal net neutrality favoring broadband i.e. the telecommunication companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast as well as internet companies such as Google, Amazon, Netflix and Facebook so on at overwhelming ordinary subscribers expense is infringement on average citizens rights and affordability in accessing internet, streaming video from Netflix and You Tube to name a few.

Net neutrality is critical for information flow without obstruction and selective channeling of traffic to sites and services that arguably creates conflict of interest and anti-trust law with major players dominance already stifling competition in a free market place. As such the lateral integration among telecommunication giants is the contemporary practice with various communication outlets from internet to television network acquisitions posing challenges to balance of power in the relatively vast field with maximum exposure to market share for them.

The net neutrality rules are meant to treat all internet traffic on equal basis barring Internet Service Providers (ISP) to block, slow down or provide preferential treatment to sites and services of their choice.

Furthermore, the rules are important for internet surfers and users to freely access the information highway without having to pay toll that would now be applicable at ISP’s discretion making internet the tool for corporate short-term profitability. In denying millions of internet visitors and regular users fair opportunity in addition to startups and several thousands of online companies from competing effectively, the current FCC plan could potentially suppress business advantage for anyone not in the same league as big corporations.

Anytime, regulations are shunned or eliminated enabling giant corporations to operate according to their policy that are always more profit oriented with the costs ultimately transferred in higher prices to end consumer or retail buyer, the trend invariably impact sustainability leading to inflation and sharp downturn in consumer buying power.

The FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s idea of attracting investment in the industry prompting such action evidently contradict the data considering the increase in investment in broadband expansion despite the rule in place.

Any regression in particular segment of this industry is not associated with net neutrality. As a matter of fact maintaining net neutrality for reasons explained above and in general benefitting entire users of cyberspace rather than specific corporations would promote enormous financial gains for all participants regardless of size and activity.

Since the broadband companies’ consumer base involves subscribers across the spectrum, the hierarchy in internet service set on different prices, speed and network reliability inevitably undermines bulk of the traffic presently represented in basic to premium category.

The FCC proposal to remove net neutrality based on investment prospects that are prevalent with net neutrality in effect along with faster and network dependability for more people is possible in extending unrestricted services to all not just the targeted groups on internet subscription. Another problem in this respect is FCC recommendation to have the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resolve any issues between broadband operatives and users on any non-disclosures in access denial and price disputes could be prevented in adherence to net neutrality that avoids such occurrence. 

The broadband service identified as the telecommunication companies remaining as such is relevant and imperative with rules defining the role adapting Title II of the Communications Act necessary for efficient and convenient access to internet prohibiting discrimination in the information age.

In conclusion, net neutrality is paramount to guarantee consistent service and competitiveness in the market economy for users and e-commerce traders without having to confront corporate control of internet usage and monopoly in commercial interest.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.com

Spouse in Divine Mission




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