Today’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealing its 2015 network neutrality rules will have an especially negative impact on online innovation. The rules prohibited broadband providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from favoring or disfavoring any online content. Specifically, the rules prohibited broadband providers from blocking or throttling online content, and barred them from charging online companies a second fee to reach their customers faster; known as “fast lanes.” Equally as important, today’s vote abdicated the FCC’s role protecting consumers and innovators in the broadband market and prohibited the states from passing any laws protecting net neutrality.
Why should innovators care? Say you’ve got a great idea for an online service that delivers food from local grocery stores and you are looking for investors. Your competitors are, among others, Amazon, WalMart and Fresh Direct. Without the protection that net neutrality offers, broadband providers can charge you and your competitors for fast lanes. Big companies can afford that, but can your start-up? Try telling your investors that the first thing you need to do to succeed is negotiate fast lane agreements with every broadband provider in the country. They’ll probably show you the door.More at NY Daily News