Is the Net Neutrality Concern Really a Concern?

Net NeutralityWith the ruling handed down yesterday by a US court of Appeals there is a lot of conversation about net neutrality. The trouble is that no one seems to truly understand it or the ramifications of the ruling completely. That is in addition to the impact that any rulings about the freedom of the Internet is going to impact so many different groups in so many different ways, it’s nearly impossible to gauge. Since it’s about the law that really shouldn’t surprise many.

Some of the reporting I am seeing includes from The Verge

A federal appeals court has struck down important segments of the FCC’s Open Internet rules, determining that the agency doesn’t have the power to require internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. The DC circuit court has ruled on Verizon v. FCC, a challenge to the net neutrality rules put in place in 2010, vacating the FCC’s anti-discrimination and anti-blocking policies, though it preserved disclosure requirements that Verizon opposed — in other words, carriers can make some traffic run faster or block other services, but they have to tell subscribers.

The Data Center Journal reports from a few sources with

A U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules on Tuesday, removing regulatory barriers to greater ISP management of network traffic. Given the fuzziness of the issue of net neutrality, however, the precise meaning for consumers and businesses relying on ISPs is uncertain. Proponents of net neutrality, such as the senior VP of business and legal affairs for Mozilla, Harvey Anderson, are practically foreseeing an Internet doomsday: “Thanks to a legal technicality, essential protections for user choice and online innovation are gone. Giving Internet service providers the legal ability to block any service they choose from reaching end users will undermine a once free and unbiased Internet,” he said. Less rabid responses include that of Larry Seltzer, who said at ZDNet that the court decision “struck down the FCC’s Open Internet rules, which were an attempt to solve a problem that doesn’t exist: rampant discrimination by ISPs against various forms of content.”

In the end the reality about net neutrality is that it is still a legal battle and not a real law, at least as I see it. There will be many groups whose vested interest in the various nuances and flavors of the net neutrality landscape will not simply go quietly into that good night.

That said, do you have any concerns about how net neutrality rulings could impact your business?