The Federal Communications Commission vote to approve net neutrality rules which will make the Internet “open,” according to backers of the policy, still have somewhat of an uphill battle to win, in order to make net neutrality a victory. While the Internet has initially exploded in favor of the net neutrality rules, the 3-2 battle victory in form of a vote was anything but an outright win of the war.
Ultimately, net neutrality has really great qualities at its roots. The point of the regulation would be to make the Internet a fairer place, and a place that isn’t loaded with fees, and other pieces of regulation executed by the companies who control the service itself. Companies like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and so many more will ultimately fight tooth and nail to prevent the Title II reclassification from making its way through the circuit.
Rather, Republicans as well as the communication companies themselves will continue to argue that this regulation and reclassification of the Internet into a Title II service will set the industry as a whole back years, even decades – citing that it will stun growth and prevent the companies from expanding service into regions where it does not already exist. Essentially, it creates a scenario where the telecommunication companies can dictate whether they will expand or not – depending on how government rules on this issue. Many have argued that the logic is flawed surrounding net neutrality, citing that government regulation will drive costs upward – while others believe that regulation for the telecommunication companies is exactly what they need to ensure that customers and smaller companies are not swallowed up and not given a fighting chance on the Internet.
One of the biggest issues at the heart of this debate is whether sites or entities should have to pay for faster access, or have the ability to pay for prioritized access to the Internet. However, this again points to the notion that the only thing that is definitely coming are lawsuits – and a lot of them. Another move that could happen in the coming weeks or months as this is playing out – would be a Republican led Congress putting together a bill that would ultimately slow or stop the FCC’s ruling. In all, this is a very political issue that will remain political for a long time to come.