The new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, has begun a motion to roll back net neutrality, which has the potential to threaten many leading industries.
With multiple industries constantly leading the digital wave of transformation, Digital Diary tackles what exactly net neutrality is, and why your industry should care if it disappears.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality creates an open internet for users and providers by creating rules that inhibit websites to carry out actions such as charging websites fees, which results in a slower internet, or blocking specific websites.
“Network neutrality guarantees a level playing field for companies that deliver information through the Internet, and practically every business sector uses the Internet to disseminate information.” According to The Hill.
Essentially, net neutrality enforces policies that forbid ISP (internet service providers) to charge websites money depending on what data they offer.
By eliminating this factor, companies will be forced to change the way they conduct services online.
Faster Internet for Those Who Pay
Lack of regulations on the internet creates a potential for the web to be split into two parts, faster for those who pay, and slower for those who don’t.
Larger companies who have the ability to pay for internet fees will have a bigger advantage to put content through “fast lanes” which is a concept that allows providers to prioritize traffic to make sure things run smoothly.
“To prioritize a service, Internet providers need a way of recognizing its network traffic, which isn’t possible if the traffic is encrypted. Providers could ask the company running the service to tag its traffic so the providers know what it looks like even when encrypted, but there’s no feasible way of getting every company on Earth to cooperate.” Wired reports.
Net neutrality currently blocks fast lanes, allowing fair access to all companies and fast internet for all.
This repeal will benefit larger companies by allowing them to receive more priority, which affects many companies throughout a variety of industries.
The Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry is moving in a digital direction, benefiting customers and providers by implementing an electronic health infrastructure.
With the repeal of net neutrality, this market will be affected due to fewer regulations regarding data and digital traffic.
Manipulating digital traffic can change the digital health data available to consumers by causing the internet to slow down.
“Not only does this voluntary approach shift winners and losers to favor large telecommunication giants, we are specifically concerned with several areas of health care being negatively impacted, including innovative solutions for telemedicine, health enhancement, and cost effective scalable sharing of health care data.” According to a report by Health Affairs Blog.
By increasing costs of use and slowing down the internet, high-speed connectivity for medical providers will be hindered, such as electronic health records, and sharing of medical data.
“The ability of health care providers to access reasonably priced high-speed connectivity in low-volume monopoly markets is threatened because the FCC is no longer supporting the regulation of fees to connect to backhaul broadband service”
Another fear that health care professionals have toward the elimination of net neutrality is the idea that individuals in rural areas will not receive the same digital health advantages with slower internet.
“Especially in rural areas, the options for online access may be limited. Localized monopolies could potentially allow ISPs to charge connection fees to small hospitals.” Healthcare It News reports.
The healthcare industry is urging the FCC to look into these factors while making a decision about the repeal of these internet rules.
The Tech Industry
The tech world has a few concerns with the possible repeal of net neutrality emerging.
Since IT professionals depend on fast internet speed and fairly prioritized data displayed throughout web channels, they are specifically worried about internet providers having the ability to slow certain content down.
“For example, ISPs might choose to charge more for high-speed access to common data-intensive services like Netflix and throttle speeds for those who don’t pay the high-speed access fee. Or ISPs might pick favorites among companies they have partnerships with while throttling their competitors’ services.” A survey from Spicework reports.
The Retail Industry
As we know, the retail industry is constantly competing with online vendors for customer engagement and purchases.
Putting large retail giants like Amazon in a position to gain more internet traffic, can squish the little guy of retail, and put bigger enterprises above the rest and into “fast lanes”.
“…smaller online retailers won’t be able to afford this premium, and thus their customers will be relegated to the “slow lane”: slower page load times, which could be enough to convince their customers to shop where the the experience is faster.” According to speedcommerce.
The Financial Services Industry
The finance industry has invested “2.4 trillion in IT”, making progress in becoming an innovative market, so it’s a no brainer that repealing net neutrality will have impacts.
The financial industry will be forced to spend even more money on making sure they receive top internet services in order for customers to receive fast, efficient care.
Digital Diary will stay up to date with updates regarding the repeal of net neutrality and the impact it has on all leading industries.
ABOUT DIGITAL ENTERPRISE TRANSFORMATION
The potential for the repeal of net neutrality proves that all industries need to be paying attention to the effects that internet regulations have on online business functions. Since industries are constantly changing and adapting to policies and internet services, staying up to date with digital transformation is crucial for success.
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Join us November 16-17, for a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.
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