I am certain the current FCC (Federal Communications Commission), www.fcc.gov, chairman Ajit Pai had a plan when he declared on December 14 he would vote to repeal net neutrality. But, in the end, the decision to repeal net neutrality escapes me. And it seems unfortunate that the FCC doesn’t understand the adverse effect the ruling will have on small and medium-sized enterprises and how it will negatively impact innovation.
Perhaps at the crux of this is that net neutrality is far from a neutral topic. Some newly approved provisions and rules from the FCC—called the FCC’s Open Internet Order—hope to protect the so-called “Open Internet” by ensuring all content delivered via broadband Internet will be treated equally. But in the end, is the vote, for “Internet Freedom” really true when it’s pretty obvious who has the real control?
Think about it. When Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPhone and then made the bigger decision to introduce the App Store shortly after, he turned a development market on its ears. He showed the world—almost overnight—that services and apps would be consumable and accessible simply with a touch or swipe.
Ironically, the carriers failed to make a dent in their own app stores or markets and it took a newcomer (i.e. Apple) to demonstrate innovation and success through an open development world. Today we see millions of new apps created by developers seeking to get their ideas to the masses, which has allowed Apple’s iPhone and now other smartphones to aggressively compete in the marketplace.
Even though the carriers needed and wanted to control the market, Apple’s advantage was its hardware and its amazing approach to allow software that would run on its devices that created a growing market.
Have we come full circle again? Hello, IoT (Internet of Things) and net neutrality.
The ISPs (Internet Service Providers) up to this point have not been successful when it comes to creating the types of systems that are needed to compete, especially when they are trying to control broadband into an expensive resource available only to a select few.
Everything in the IoT is adding a sensor and that means it is collecting data. As we continue to do what we need to track, trace, and monitor all that information, we can’t even tell you how much information we are talking about in the years ahead. It’s still a mystery to all of us how much data or information we will be tracking on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
As I see it, we are forcing the larger companies to get bigger, the smaller companies to be limited on bandwidth, and content to be controlled, by, well, I don’t even know. Simply, this ruling opens the door for very different consumers and business experiences on the Internet. What that exactly means is anyone’s guess.
Perhaps Pai is still clouded by all this information he has been receiving and he has yet to truly understand the real impact this is going to have on building the next generation of technology in the country. Some are already asking if this decision might close the door on innovation.
In the end, regardless of what side of the fence you are on, whether you support net neutrality or not, there is no way consumers and innovators are going to sit idly by as they are told what’s in their best interest, as we reported back in 2015.
When the cost of providing mobile service continues to rise in our homes and businesses, public outcry will reach an all-time high and then you can surely watch as the tweets begin to fly. And I’m certain they won’t be very friendly towards the FCC or the ISPs. Tweet me opinions on net neutrality @ConnectedWMag or @peggy_smedley.
Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #M2M #IoT #FCC #AjitPai #Internet #broadband #regulation #ISP #NetNeutrality