One expert says new rules on net neutrality will make sure content providers have equal access to the Internet, although regular customers are not likely to notice much of a difference in how they access information and entertainment online.
The Federal Communications Commission this week adopted standards that will treat the Internet like a public utility. UW-Madison telecommunications expert Barry Orton says the move keeps service providers from discriminating against certain content by creating “fast lanes” for those who pay to have their content reach customers faster. The rules are intended to prevent a scenario where start-ups and smaller companies have a difficult time being able to compete against more established businesses that can afford to pay for faster speeds.
For the most part, Orton says the FCC protected the status quo for much of the Internet currently operates. He says customers should see the same service they have always been getting, whether it’s “bad or good.”
Opponents argue the new rules will limit investment and innovation in Internet technologies. Legal challenges of the FCC’s decision are expected.