What is the impact of net neutrality to the world?
Everyone has been bombarded with news about the continuing fight of net neutrality laws in the U.S. lately. While the telecom industry-sponsored lobbyists have finally scored a major win with FCC’s repeal of the 2015 laws last year, individual states are not yet giving up and have vowed to implement similar rules in their areas.
Exactly what will happen once net neutrality rules are finally lifted? Here are some of the alarming predictions awaiting everyone.
The Rise of Premium-priced Internet Fast Lanes
With net neutrality rules out of the picture, expect the internet landscape to be drastically changed. One of the major ways this could impact both consumers and businesses alike is the pricing structure.
With no laws prohibiting internet service providers, consumers can expect these companies to start creating internet ‘fast lanes.’ No matter how its lobbyist package the repeal, net neutrality laws were put in place to make sure that the internet remains a level playing field to a certain degree. The Obama-era laws specifically mandated ISPs to treat all type of data or traffic equally; they cannot just block or even slow down traffic from certain sites while promoting or speeding up broadband connection in others, which is basically a form of discrimination.
In the post-net neutrality world, ISPs would no longer bat an eyelash and offer paid prioritizations also known as “fast lanes.” Of course, people can still continue with their old broadband subscription plans but, if they want to have a faster internet connection, they will have to shell out some extra cash.
But it will not just affect the regular consumer themselves but is bound to even impact businesses. Businesses that rely on fast broadband speeds to remain competitive are likely to be most affected by the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules. One likely scenario is that data speed from their sites will now be classified into the “slow lane” category with its subsequent decrease in performance. Should they want to go back to the previous levels of connection speeds, they need to be upgraded into the “fast lane” category. But then again, they’ll have to pay more.
There Might Be Major Internet Outages
Even without the repeal of net neutrality rules, there were already alarming predictions that could happen to the internet in the near future. One of these is the possible increase of major internet outages which, unfortunately, could be worsened by FCC’s decision.
Back in December 2017, American research and advisory firm Gartner predicted that “within the next five years, there will be a major Internet outage that impacts more than 100 million users for longer than 24 hours.”
Apparently, this prediction is based on businesses’ increasing reliance “on the Internet for WAN connectivity,” which could be easily affected by the “unpredictable nature of Internet services.”
However, the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules could potentially add fuel to the fire so to speak. The introduction of ‘fast lanes’ is bound to worsen the vulnerability of public internet access.
In the new internet landscape, ISPs are basically given the free hand to influence traffic to an unimaginable degree. However, not all companies have succumbed to the temptation of getting more profits through paid prioritization. For example, dnet will continue with its net neutrality stance and will treat all traffic equally.