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The Loss of Net Neutrality and What It Could Mean for IoT

I had not planned on talking about anything political on this site and I will try to keep this relevant to IoT as much as I can, but Net Neutrality is something that as someone passionate about innovation and technology is very important and the potential loss of it is devastating. There are a lot of misconceptions about Net Neutrality so let’s start by talking about what exactly Net Neutrality is?

That is very simple, Net Neutrality is the internet’s golden role and it preserves our right to open communication and unbiased opinion online, it is the Internet’s right to free speech without it everything we view or share online can be governed and censored. Net Neutrality protects our right to free speech and means that ISPs must provide open networks that do not block or discriminate against any application or content. To put this in perspective of IoT look at it this way, you are a Comcast subscriber but do not subscribe to Xfinity Home Security, instead you use SmartThings, Wink or one of the many other automation and security platforms available, well without Net Neutrality Comcast could throttle communications from SmartThings or Wink going to their cloud services to sway people towards Xfinity Home Security. The loss of Net Neutrality has the potential to completely disrupt IoT and the Internet in general.

The Internet has been the birthplace of innovation for a long time now, with sites like Kickstarter the little guys can innovate and use the Internet to help them grow and build the finished product they spent countless hours bringing to life. Giving ISP’s control could potentially cripple this innovation. Innovation and the Internet would turn into a “pay to play” society, where the big companies that can afford to pay ISP’s for special treatment will win every time. Big ISP’s like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would have the final say over what traffic is let through its servers, essentially deciding which voices are heard and which ones are not, promoting their own brands (or partners brands) over others.

Now this is all worst case and there is nothing saying that any of this would happen or even that anything would change about the internet without Net Neutrality but the possibility of some of these thoughts coming true is scary. On December 14th the FCC will vote on the new Net Neutrality killing plan laid out by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The only positive I can potentially see coming with the end of Net Neutrality might be that we would finally see some competition in the ISP space that could benefit consumers but to date our so called anti-trust laws have don nothing to combat this, so I do not see it happening, but I guess that is a topic for another rant. In my opinion Net Neutrality can not be killed and everyone should do everything they can to try and stop that from happening. I employ everyone to urge the FCC to ditch this plan, and tell your members of Congress to condemn this attack on internet freedom.


Mike View All

I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.

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