Internet service providers and the entire Internet industry together with them suffered a painful blow when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declared the Internet a public utility a few days ago. The majority of American Internet service providers strongly opposed the decision and stated that in the long run it will hurt not only them, but the customers who use their services as well.
The new Internet neutrality law means that Internet providers shouldn’t discriminate between different kinds of traffic, deliberately slowing down some kinds or creating artificial paid fast lanes. Presumably, this decision – if it survives legal challenges that will follow – ensures better service quality, for example, according to TheFuseJoplin.
“Net neutrality is a huge issue, which has been affecting millions of customers, not just in the United States, but as a whole throughout the world. It has finally been put to end and within the next few months, you can expect to see all companies providing higher speeds, besides uninterrupted services so that streaming websites are not slowed down.”
However, according to another, much more widespread school of thought, this decision, just like all government interventions, is likely to have effect that would be diametrically opposite to what was intended. According to The Inquisitr, Internet as a public utility will lead to higher costs for customers, slower speeds, delays in implementation of new technologies, lack of motivation for innovation and investment and so on.
“American households could pay an additional $156 in fees to federal, state, and local governments if regulators reclassified the internet as a public utility in a report released in 2014. Revenue from those fees would total $15 billion per year.”
What is even more alarming is the fact that net neutrality decision is probably the first government intervention into the workings of the Internet throughout its existence, and it creates an extremely dangerous precedent. Today FCC has shown that it can dictate which traffic is to be transferred at which speed; tomorrow it may logically conclude that it has a right to determine which traffic is to be transferred at all.
Nevertheless, even in its current state net neutrality law will hurt both the industry and the customers – and we all know that once government starts meddling in something, it is likely to increase its presence over time. Which means that Internet service providers are likely to see more problems in future.