Net neutrality is gone -- at least for now. That is, unless Congress intervenes and tries to put the kibosh on things.
Among the chief overriding concerns, your internet service provider might speed up and/or slow specific websites. This might work against some big digital video platforms that are controlled by Netflix, Google’s YouTube, and Amazon, which are against abandoning the net-neutrality rules.
Net neutrality means Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform or application.
It's no surprise that big digital video companies, among many others, are concerned about this change, especially when it impacts some traditional media/communication owners that are now in the driver’s seat.
Playing favorites? Will Comcast’s internet service business push Hulu more than Netflix? What if AT&T offers preferential treatment for DirecTV Now, rather than Sling TV?
Supporters of getting rid of net neutrality would say Comcast does not favor CNBC over Fox Business -- or NBC Sports’ NBCSN over Fox Sports FS1. Many claim there are specific federal regulations or rules against such over-reaching activity. (Any violations will be handled after the fact by the FTC, not the FCC.)
But what about the internet? Is it the same? Is the internet a utility that should be under federal regulation? Internet providers -- AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, T-Mobile -- don’t think so.
It seems there is a big company/small start-up entrepreneur dynamic at work here.
Bigger internet content companies -- Google’s YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon -- have the wherewithal to pay for faster access if Internet providers seek higher payments from them. Smaller companies? Not so much. Then think further down the food chain: Will all these costs be passed on to consumers?
The Trump Administration believes in a regulation-free marketplace so competition can do its work and drive down prices for consumers.
But history says those efforts rarely result in a favorable consumer outcome.