Today’s action by the FCC to reverse Title II and unwind net neutrality rules is significant for consumers and businesses alike.
Proponents of the action tout market competition and investment benefits – an open internet grows and thrives.
It is unlikely that consumers will be negatively affected in the near or long-term. Competition is stiff with many connectivity options, so content throttling or prioritization affecting the user experience is not likely – consumers have options to change providers if access to content is hindered.
There is a potential for businesses to be financially affected, though. Businesses that use internet access for public/private VPN, cloud connectivity and VoIP/SIP connection may be paying more for the same bandwidth access in the near future. Carriers and internet providers are more likely to burden businesses than consumers with addition fees and/or configurations that may throttle or prioritize internet traffic.
A positive in the ruling is the requirement for ISPs to disclose “any blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, or affiliated prioritization”. This promotes transparency and should help consumers/businesses understand how their providers deliver content to them.