by Sean McCloskey, Daily Reckoning:
Years ago I had one of the first renditions of satellite internet at my home in Baltimore.
It was simply amazing.
Download and upload speeds were exponentially faster than any cable or fiber internet available. At a fraction of what we were paying previously to one of the “Big Cable” companies too.
We were in internet service provider heaven.
The company, Believe Wireless, has since moved on to solely commercial services. It turned out that “Big Cable’s” grip on residential service in my area was too strong at the time to overcome.
But I had the proof that change was coming.
Now satellite internet’s promise is even better enabled by the unlikely union of cheap space access and a current hot-button issue in Washington.
Net Neutrality: An Unforeseen Catalyst
The FCC established net neutrality rules in 2015 in order to reclassify the internet as a public utility. Similar to the way the FCC regulates phone lines and carriers.
According to Marketplace.org, “Net neutrality is the belief that internet service providers should treat all content, applications and websites the same, without favoring or blocking specific ones.”
Today, with a vote of 3-2 the FCC decided to roll back net neutrality protections.
Proponents for the protections claim rolling neutrality rules back allows companies to create “fast lanes” for preferred content providers. Or to slow down a specific website’s traffic if it’s not preferred content.
Comcast, for example, could decide that Netflix isn’t paying them enough for the amount of traffic they generate on Comcast’s network. Comcast could slow down Netflix’s streaming speed in response.
Ultimately, this would disrupt the customer’s ability to stream shows and movies until Netflix ponies up to Comcast’s demands.
On the other side of the debate are those who feel the amount of manpower and resources devoted to maintaining internet networks is not scaled properly.
Companies like Comcast and Verizon claim they aren’t compensated fairly for the investments they make to maintain networks and expand access.
It’s a classic debate. On one side is the call for protections to promote fair use and new innovations.
On the other side, you have the call for fairer returns on investments for the companies that first develop these networks.
Of course, there are more variables at play here, but that’s the basic gist. You can decide for yourself which side you land on.
But while you do, consider this: With net neutrality rules rolled back, it will be a huge catalyst to fuel more dollars and effort into making satellite internet happen in 2018.
Because if favoritism becomes the norm and people’s service is interrupted, you can bet that they’ll start looking for alternative ways to access the internet.
A Recipe for Disruption
Net neutrality rollbacks and a rising discontent with “Big Cable.”
Read More @ DailyReckoning.com