The U.S. government, specifically the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), is poised to vote on a possible repeal of 2015 net neutrality rules that formalized principles originating back to 2005. These rules classified telecommunications as a public utility with some exceptions for ISPs. The newly issued FCC plan would reverse the rules that prevent ISPs from discriminating against certain packets on their networks. It’s a deeply concerning repeal (and many argue a pointless one) that would enable broadband providers to slow down traffic from specific companies enabling them to prioritize packets from their own products and services, as opposed to their competitors.
More specifically for the Internet of Things, a repeal of the net neutrality rules could hinder communications among connected devices. Imagine a telecommunications provider prioritizing its connected home products over other potentially superior products from its competitors. Who wins in this situation? Unfortunately, not the consumer. The greater concern seems to play out at the global level and U.S. competitiveness against other countries. India is focused on an open-Internet which is what seems, in part, to help the U.S. thrive over the past seventeen or more years as the strongest economy in the world.
The FCC vote is scheduled for December 14th. We’ll wait in concerned anticipation to see what comes next.
Also published on Medium.