On December 14, the FCC made a decision that was controversial, to say the least. In the current political environment, we’ve become accustomed to seeing something with the label “controversial” happen every few days or so, but the FCC’s net neutrality decision is a very big deal, even by our new 24-hour news cycle standards. Today, our aim is to give you a short summary of the FCC decision, what net neutrality means, and of course, what the implications are for Charleston SEO practices.
What the FCC Actually Did
In a 3-2 vote, the members of the Federal Communications Commission decided to cancel a set of regulations bundled under the term “net neutrality.” Those regulations went into effect in 2015, and as the FCC chairman pointed out, they were not a response to an urgent problem plaguing the Internet community. Rather, they were more of a preemptive attempt to stop problems that some industry experts were concerned could arise. That 2015 decision was preceded by years of heated debate, which only continued after the rules were imposed. Charleston SEO experts and others in the online marketing industry will no doubt continue to debate the issue following this month’s cancellation of those rules.
What Is Net Neutrality?
If you don’t already know what it refers to, the term “net neutrality” actually suggests an absence of regulation. If you had to guess what it means, you might come up with ideas such as equal access to the Internet or the commitment of government not to assist or penalize websites based on its like or dislike of them. Those ideas are related to net neutrality, but as we mentioned earlier, it was actually a set of government regulations. Far from establishing a neutral approach by government, the regulations actually placed restrictions on what Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon could do with their service. The purpose behind those restrictions was to prevent those providers from giving certain content priority and restricting or outright blocking other content. That might sound “fair,” and when it’s applied to public services like electricity and water, that kind of regulation works well. But Internet service is a much more complicated service than utilities are, and supporters of this month’s repeal of the net neutrality rules point out that Internet providers have been held back from improving their services and innovating over the past two years.
This blogpost isn’t able to describe all the rules that were included under net neutrality, and there are endless sources of information available online if you’re interested in understanding it better. But for Charleston SEO services, the most important result at the moment appears to us to be the following: The next few months and years could usher in a kind of golden age of innovation in the areas of Internet access, broadband development, and increasing the variety of Internet service available to different users. After all, large corporations have different Internet access needs than your local SEO company or even a private homeowner, and the removal of net neutrality will allow Internet providers to offer different packages and different prices to those varied customers.
That being said, it’s far too early to begin looking for real-life changes for local SEO firms and the average Internet user. The announcement of the net neutrality decision was barely made before lawmakers began talking about legislating some version of a new net neutrality policy. The anticipation is that such legislation may reinstate some of the regulations included under the FCC’s old net neutrality rules, but not all of them. Indeed, the far-reaching scope and broad strokes of the rules may well have been the factor that drove so many people to push for its repeal.
Stay in Touch with Your Network Engineer/Technician
Whatever happens with net neutrality, we’ll be ready to help your company or organization, get in touch with PalmettoSoft today and tell us a little bit about your business. We look forward to help you right away.