With Thanksgiving Day 2018 a whole year away, searching, streaming, and making purchases could look a whole lot different during the next Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday weekend, compared with years past. That's if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rolls back net neutrality.
Earlier this week, the FCC outlined and published the next steps for their plan to roll back net neutrality. One more Obama-era movement this administration hopes to unravel.
The FCC, which still has time to remove the vote from the docket, plans to vote on Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to reclassify broadband as an "information" service and to repeal common-carrier regulations that ban providers from blocking or throttling traffic. The due date is December 14.
It also would mean charging higher fees for prioritized delivery. The Obama administration classified broadband access as a utility service, which, in my opinion, better describes it.
Pai believes that current regulations ruling the internet have failed consumers and businesses. But if the FCC votes to roll back net neutrality protections it would hurt those searching and using the internet, especially consumers in rural areas. It would fail competition and small businesses and stifle innovation.
Adobe estimates that between November 1 and November 22, online revenue reached $1 billion each day. Based on Adobe Analytics data, online revenue reached $30.39.
Facebook was cited by the BBC saying: "We are disappointed that the proposal announced this week by the FCC fails to maintain the strong net neutrality protections that will ensure the internet remains open for everyone."
And Google chimed in to say today's rules are working well, according to the report.
"The ethos of net neutrality was built into the fabric of the internet from the start and is one of the reasons why it has thrived," wrote Vimeo General Council Michael Cheah in a blog post. "ISPs probably won’t immediately begin blocking content outright, given the uproar that this would provoke. What’s more likely is a transition to a pay-for-play business model that will ultimately stifle startups and innovation, and lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers."
Wired analyzed how streaming services will change if the new ruling passes. "Because many internet services for mobile devices include limits on data use, the changes will be visible there first," according to Wired. "In one dramatic scenario, internet services would begin to resemble cable-TV packages, where subscriptions could be limited to a few dozen sites and services."
That's the "dramatic scenario." In the more likely scenario, consumers can expect a gradual shift toward "subscriptions that provide unlimited access to certain preferred providers while charging extra for everything else."
Enjoy your Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping sprees while the internet remains virtually free. Well, sort of. We use it in exchange for viewing ads.