FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

posted on 10 February 2017

Donald Trump Could Be About To End Net Neutrality

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Chris Marsden, University of Sussex

Donald Trump wants to build another wall. Not a physical wall to keep out illegal immigrants, like his proposed Mexican border project, but a virtual wall around the internet. And just as with Mexico, he wants the people behind the wall to pay for it.

President Trump seems to want to dismantle the main internet policy of his predecessor, that of ensuring net neutrality, also known as the “open internet". To do this, he has appointed the most vocal Republican critic of President Obama’s internet policies, Ajit Pai, as chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the largest and most powerful internet regulatory body in the world.

Net neutrality is the principle that telecoms providers that connect you to the internet should not throttle your access depending on what services and content you use. For example, your mobile phone company should not be able to reduce your use of Skype or WhatsApp by reducing the speed of those services so that you use their calling and messaging functions instead. Without net neutrality, certain services and websites would be able to pay internet providers so that customers can access them with faster speeds, disadvantaging those companies without such a deal.

Telecoms providers’ attempts to do this led to a growing international consensus among governments on net neutrality. From 2009, many European and Latin American countries introduced regulations and laws to promote or guarantee net neutrality. In the US, opposition from big telecoms and cable corporations in the courts meant it took six years of Obama’s presidency to begin to effectively implement net neutrality rules.

To get around net neutrality rules, some telecoms companies have more recently begun using a “zero rating" approach of offering customers a preferential bundle of certain services that do not use up data allowances. These “sponsored data" plans don’t prevent access to any other site or service. But they still disadvantage smaller content providers, including the likes of the BBC and Wikipedia, that cannot afford to negotiate inclusion in sponsored data plans as the likes of Facebook and Google can.

Ending net neutrality could make some sites faster than others. Shutterstock

By the end of 2016, regulators in the EU and India had produced further guidelines banning zero-rating plans. And the FCC under Obama was challenging companies using the zero-rating strategy. All those other national regulators are in the midst of their investigations - which is why they are susceptible to the FCC’s do-nothing.

But, in the US at least, that is now history as we enter the Trump era. The new FCC chairman has argued the net neutrality rules over-regulate innovation, even quoting the Emperor from Star Wars to invoke his opposition. He prefers deregulation to allow companies to compete without explicit consumer protection rules to guarantee an open internet.

Since his appointment, Pai has closed the inquiry that was implementing Obama’s policy, and he is highly unlikely to agree to another one. Pai will most probably continue to act towards net neutrality by exercising masterly inactivity, failing to enforce the regulations.

Behind the wall

That will allow the big US telecoms and cable companies to erect paywalls around their content, giving customers free access to affiliated services but making them pay for rival content, especially high definition video. That means lower costs for video services affiliated to AT&T, Verizon and Comcast but higher costs for independent providers such as Netflix.

Who else is affected by an end to US net neutrality? In short, those innovators unable to strike a deal to get inside the telecoms and cable companies’ paywalls. Facebook’s deals with mobile operators have enabled it to offer zero-rated content in many countries. They may now hope the US approval for zero rating will help their arguments in India, Brazil and other huge developing markets. Google and and even NetFlix may be big enough to look after their interests, too.

But small innovators will have no guaranteed minimum service level to design new services. That could impact the development of the Internet of Things, 5G mobile networks and cloud computing services. Having to ask permission to run your service on the internet is a major issue for start-ups that are effectively three engineers in a garage (as Google and Facebook once were). And this may affect new companies’ decisions on where to start their innovations.

The ConversationChris Marsden, Professor of Internet Law, University of Sussex

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.

You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Contributors


Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Take a look at what is going on inside of
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Wasteful Health Care Spending
Democratic Development Lowers the Cost of Credit
News Blog
February 2017 Conference Board Consumer Confidence Up
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Again Improves In February 2017.
February 2017 Chicago Purchasing Managers Barometer At One Year High
Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index December 2016 Shows 5.6 % Year-over-Year Growth
Second Estimate 4Q2016 GDP Unchanged at 1.9 % - Under Expectations
Infographic Of The Day: Best Places In The World To Be A Doctor
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Oil, Gold, Dollar Little Changed, GOP ACA Divide, Trump Budget, UK Economy Concerns, France Inflation Slows, India Tax Reform, Oz Mortgage Leverage And More
February 27, 2017 Weather and Climate Report. Short-term Forecasting Not So Easy.
Explainer: What Is VX Nerve Agent And How Does It Work?
What's Important To The Online Shopper
How Liverpool's New Local Currency Fits Into Global Trends Of Money And Power
World's Largest B2C E-Commerce Markets
Average Gasoline Prices for Week Ending 27 February 2017 Rose Over One Cent
Investing Blog
Market And Sector Analysis 26 February 2017
Trump's Address To Congress: A Preview For Investors
Opinion Blog
Brave New World: The Pill-popping, Social Media Obsessed Dystopia We Live In
What Do You Call A Lie Constructed From Other Lies?
Precious Metals Blog
Deflation And Gold: A Contrarian View
Live Markets
28Feb2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Down, Flat And Muted Before Opening, Crude Prices Slipping Sharply, US Dollar Mostly Unchanged And Investors Await Trump's Speech To Congress Tonight
Amazon Books & More

.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved