How Does The FCC Decision On Net Neutrality Affect Me?

January 1st, 2018

As you may have heard, the Federal Communication’s Commission (FCC) voted on December 14, 2017 to overturn certain Net Neutrality protections. So what is Net Neutrality and what does this mean to me?  First off, please know that we happen to disagree with the ruling to overturn Net Neutrality rules and do not have any plans to change our business practices or how we provide your Internet service.

Net Neutrality was a fundamental guiding principle that the Internet was founded on an open Internet and prevented service providers from speeding up, slowing down, or blocking any type of content, applications, or websites. In addition, Net Neutrality also included certain consumer protections, as well as issues regarding privacy, site blocking issues and preferential service (Internet fast lanes), which may be based on agreements or fees paid.

As a rural, Independent telecommunications company, we are regulated differently than the large national telecommunications providers. When Net Neutrality was made law, the rules didn’t change for us. We were already regulated under Federal Communications Act Title II rules and were adhering to certain consumer protections including stringent privacy protections in operating our network. We have never stored any user information regarding websites visited, nor do we have any business relationships with any third party organizations that might be interested in obtaining that data. As a result of changes in the Net Neutrality law, we will not change any of our business practices.

However, as a small Internet Service Provider, we are concerned that the large national telecommunications providers may seek deals that will isolate or block the services of smaller providers like us. We are very much in favor of rules that allow everyone a fair playing field and we view that overturning Net Neutrality rules runs counter to this. With the amount of attention that Net Neutrality has recently received, we believe that we will not see any impacts in the short-term. The Vermont Congressional delegation is pro Net Neutrality and is working to take measures to pass legislation to protect consumers and keep the Internet open for all.