Net Neutrality Repeal: Is it the Death of Internet Freedom?2018-06-12
Net neutrality is no more. The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era rules that required service providers to offer equal access to all web content, effective June 11. This change gives service providers a wide berth to potentially change and control internet speeds, costs and content. Does this policy change make consumers the big losers or will service providers now be free to innovate and broaden their offerings to the public?
The move to abolish net neutrality unequivocally hurts consumers, according to Henry Carter, PhD, an assistant professor in Villanova’s Department of Computing Sciences.
“The repeal of net neutrality controls by the FCC is a major step backwards for Internet freedom, growth, and utility for consumers, says Carter. “While the move has been advocated for reason of “business innovation and development”, it is more likely to slow the advancement of Internet infrastructure, since large ISPs can now reallocate or increase the price selectively on existing bandwidth rather than expand the existing infrastructure to accommodate increasing demand.”
The end of net neutrality will have costly, negative and wide reaching impacts on consumers and small businesses, Carter believes.
“Consumers may see an increase in the cost of their Internet access through customized packages that ISPs could develop to charge a premium for high-speed access to select online services (such as video streaming or social media sites),” Carter noted. “For those who have used the Internet as a platform to spread information or build a small business, they will now have to contend with major companies and services that have extensive resources to pay for priority over the available bandwidth.”
Control and censorship by service providers could also become a problem.
“ This de-regulation could even lead to control and censorship over what content is made available to users, especially in cases where the content provider also has control of network access (as with Google Fiber),” Carter said. “While these changes will likely not appear overnight, the legal barriers have been removed to allow for a slow move towards a more commercialized and restricted Internet for everyday users.”
Carter is available to talk about the repeal of net neutrality and its ramifications. To contact Carter, click on his headshot above, call the Media Relations office at (610) 519-5152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org