The Big Three (AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast) have made it clear that they will continue to hold the reins on America’s telecommunications companies until 2021 at the earliest.
However, the Federal Communications Commission is reportedly working on a plan to give regulators the power to allow the three companies to hold onto their monopolistic grip on the market.
That’s bad news for consumers, as it will mean less competition in the marketplace.
The FCC’s proposed changes to its net neutrality rules could lead to less competition, and less choice in how to use the Internet.
But in the end, the real issue is not whether the FCC will allow the Big Three to keep their monopoly on the broadband market, but rather, whether they can ensure that they maintain their control of the industry.
Here’s what you need to know about net neutrality and the future of the telecommunications industry.
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) shouldn’t be able to block or slow down certain websites or applications without explicit permission from the users.
The net neutrality principles are not unique to the US, and they are widely accepted throughout the world.
They apply to the entire internet ecosystem, not just a few specific websites.
For example, the Open Internet Order prohibits ISPs from blocking or throttling specific websites, and the EU’s open data directive also prohibits ISPs’ practices of “interference” with the data flow of websites and applications.
In general, net neutrality applies to all content and applications that are delivered over the internet, whether it’s a web page or an app.
But net neutrality doesn’t just apply to online services, as the US’s Open Internet Act allows for the deployment of “net neutrality rules” that ensure that internet traffic isn’t prioritized or restricted based on content, service, or application.
The Open Internet order also establishes a clear definition of net neutrality, with rules that ensure the “free flow of information across the Internet.”
The FCC rules on net neutrality apply to internet service provider (ISP) customers and don’t apply to ISPs themselves.
The Federal Communications Board (FCC) has also proposed net neutrality protections for content providers.
The proposed rules would create a standard for ISPs to treat all content as equal, and protect the rights of consumers to access and use content.
What are net neutrality safeguards?
The FCC proposes to create net neutrality standards that ensure all ISPs treat all internet traffic equally.
This would require ISPs to provide users with information about which websites and apps are blocked, as well as how their access is affected by certain types of internet usage.
These safeguards would also require ISPs not to discriminate based on data or content.
They would also allow for the creation of a voluntary “information transparency standard” that would allow ISPs to disclose information about the blocking or prioritization practices of their networks.
These protections would allow for an open and transparent discussion about how ISPs might improve their services to consumers, but the FCC also hopes that consumers will be able understand what content they’re receiving from the ISPs they use.
What happens if the FCC’s rules are adopted?
If the FCC approves the proposed net-neutrality rules, the FCC would need to publish a new set of rules in a way that would enable consumers to review the impact on their internet usage of any change to these rules.
This is important because the FCC has previously failed to update its rules since they were adopted.
If the new rules are too burdensome or too broad, they could have a chilling effect on online expression.
In the past, Congress has tried to update the rules to include additional protections for consumers.
In 2016, it passed a bill that gave consumers more protections for internet access, but it failed to pass the House of Representatives and was never signed into law.
In 2018, it was reauthorized and the new legislation was put on hold.
If these new rules do become effective, the agency would need Congress’s approval.
Congress would have to approve the rules before they can take effect.
The rules would need approval from at least three different agencies, and those agencies would have a 60-day period to review and make changes.
For consumers, the new net-transparency standard could help make sure that they know what content providers are blocking, prioritizing, and prioritizing differently from ISPs.
For content providers, it could help them make sure they’re not discriminating based on their users’ content, apps, or websites.
How will the new FCC rules impact internet service?
If approved, the proposed rules could allow ISPs that currently don’t comply with net neutrality requirements to keep doing so.
The FTC could also apply for regulatory approval for certain ISPs that were previously allowed to continue blocking or slowing down websites, applications, and services.
In order to keep up with the speed of innovation, the US government is investing billions in broadband infrastructure.
The current rules could cause ISPs to slow down their services, slow down content delivery, or slow the delivery of certain applications, such as