Hopping Mad At The FCC
Thune's reaction reflected the general attitude among ISPs, who would probably love to develop their services into multi-tiered offerings of speed and quality, giving customers levels of service that vary with prices. A.T.& T. and Verizon last month were tangling in an issue over the subject with the FCC and will likely be most supportive of taking net neutrality out of the communications lexicon as soon as the Trump administration starts staffing it with friendly commissioners. Of some note, A.T.&T. and Verizon are two of the top 5 contributors to Thune's campaign committee and leadership PAC during the period 2011-2016.
South Dakotans who are used to unlimited internet accessibility to all sites and apps with the same speed applied to each of them should be aware of this likely change. The incoming Republican majority at the FCC can immediately hit the "undo" button and reverse course on net neutrality simply by refusing to enforce the rule. As it stands now, ISPs are banned from blocking or slowing legal internet sites and apps or generally using their connectivity to favor some sites over others. The problem for consumers will come when the service providers begin showing some form of favoritism toward content that they might happen to own. Speedier access to premium sites is a possibility.
You can make a case that a more lucrative operational setting will drive greater research and development among telecom companies, but the numbers don't back that up. Using the industry's own data from U.S. Telecom, broadband investment is about 50% higher than it was in the
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