What Is Net Neutrality?
Network neutrality refers to the idea that all data on the internet should be handled in a similar manner by all businesses. These include internet service providers (ISPs) and governments, regardless of content, user, platform, application, or device. Thus, net neutrality requires service providers to make sure that consumer’s access to material should not be restricted or slowed down.
Net neutrality regulations will have an impact on many areas of the internet and online companies. For example, one source of worry is how it may impact cryptocurrency’s future.
What’s for and against the concept of Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality supporters include software businesses (e.g., Amazon), social networking companies (e.g., Facebook), and online streaming service providers (e.g., Netflix and Hulu), among others.
One of the most compelling arguments for net neutrality and equal access is that it enables tiny start-ups and seed-stage enterprises to thrive online. This encourages people to innovate and create new goods and services. But, unfortunately, ISPs limit the development of tiny creative start-ups that cannot pay premium pricing by charging higher charges.
For example, if Facebook had charged exorbitant fees for more users, it may not have replaced Myspace. Similarly, Netflix may not have expanded as rapidly if it continually charged for higher streaming quality.
Net neutrality supporters also believe that the free, unfettered flow of information and content on the internet is critical for democracies.
Why are ISPs opposed to the concept of Net Neutrality?
Internet service providers are generally opposed to the concept of net neutrality, as per the litigation brought against the FCC by different ISPs and telecommunications firms. One of the main reasons for this is the increased efficiency that traffic shaping provides.
ISPs use traffic shaping to provide more bandwidth and connection speed to websites that produce more money and less bandwidth and speed to websites that do not. This approach improves their total profitability while incentivizing them to invest in R&D and innovate in the long run.
Net Repeal and Cryptos
Certain ISPs have ties to the US government and may exert control over the internet in various ways. For example, by limiting or reducing bandwidth for any particular crypto exchange, the government may make it impossible for crypto coins to thrive.
The government and ISPs may potentially give one currency or exchange preferential service over another. If consumers want to continue having access to rapid traffic, ISPs may raise their rates.
Is there a possibility to stop this repeal?
Immediately after the decision to repeal the regulations, various groups filed a slew of lawsuits against Ajit Pai and the FCC. Just minutes after Pai’s win was revealed, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he would sue the FCC. Many other parties have joined the suit, including Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Furthermore, many towns throughout the nation have started to investigate the feasibility of establishing municipally-owned internet services at the local level. For example, San Francisco published a Request for Qualifications in late January to find firms capable of designing, building, and maintaining fibre-optic internet networks across the city. These proposals, however, have been greeted with strong opposition from the FCC, which is expected to continue to fight states’ efforts to preserve or establish municipally-owned internet services.
Making Use of CRA to prevent the removal of Net Neutrality
Finally, there is another mechanism that may be utilized to prevent Pai’s proposal from becoming law. This is known as a Congressional Review Act, or CRA, a legislative mechanism that enables Congress to reverse a federal agency’s decision with a simple majority vote. However, now that the Senate has been formally notified of the FCC’s plans, Congress has just 60 days to use the CRA process to prevent the removal of net neutrality rules.
Republicans prefer to speak about states’ rights when it comes to reducing government. Still, they appear much less willing to do so when states challenge the federal government for violating laws that preserve the open internet. It is too early to say if the FCC cases will be successful, but they have shown that resistance to Pai’s proposals is vocal and broad.
What’s in store for net neutrality?
Before anything can go ahead – in either way – the FCC’s litigation must be settled before net neutrality rules can be repealed completely. It is also conceivable that congressional Democrats will gain enough votes to block the proposal via the CRA process. However, the move would still need to pass another difficult barrier by obtaining enough votes in the House and the Senate.
For the time being, all we can do is wait – and contact our legislators to ask them to preserve the internet.
What Can Cryptocurrencies Do?
Certain cryptocurrencies and altcoins are based on decentralized networks that use blockchain technology to avoid bandwidth limitations an ISP may place on a currency. The future seems promising for these currencies. Coins based on traditional, centralized network types, on the other hand, may face difficulties.
The level of anonymity provided to end-users is an additional advantage of operating on a decentralized network.
Hiding behind the blockchain has to be stopped
Paid priority isn’t the only area of blockchain where competition law may come into play. Recent comments by EU antitrust authorities, most notably by Commissioner Vestager, show the Commission’s increased emphasis on antitrust concerns created by algorithms and other big data uses. Antitrust authorities would utilize their current investigative powers if a blockchain network were exploited to conceal anti-competitive activities.
For competitive law enforcement, the most appealing feature of blockchain is undoubtedly its ability to share information. Rival members of the same blockchain network may share commercially sensitive information as long as they maintain an identical record of all transactions cleared inside the distributed ledger. Other antitrust considerations include the amount of access to closed blockchain networks if membership in such networks is required for market activity.
The more blockchain technology develops and permeates virtually all sectors, the more it will pique authorities’ interest. Paid priority will almost certainly be one of the problems scrutinized by authorities. Blockchain advocates should keep a careful eye on how the fight over net neutrality unfolds. These lessons will be critical in sustaining the rapid development of this fascinating technology.
Cryptocurrency’s reaction to the FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal
Cryptocurrency is essentially a reaction to global governments, mega-banks, and mega-corporations misbehaving. This Financial Times headline was inscribed into the bitcoin genesis block: The New York Times 03/Jan/2009.The Chancellor is on the verge of approving a second bank rescue.
Cryptocurrency exists because our financial elites have shown that they cannot be trusted, and today’s FCC decision against a policy that is supported by 81% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans is more evidence of this fact. Bitcoin has evolved into a store of wealth, similar to a Swiss bank account for the ordinary man—but with a higher interest rate (for now). Bitcoin cash was created as a fork of bitcoin in order to fulfil the original promise of bitcoin’s whitepaper and establish a peer-to-peer transaction system that operates outside of the reach of the international monetary system. Ethereum’s goal is to build a decentralized internet in which this FCC decision would potentially have much less of an effect.
So far, nothing out of the usual about a tech meeting in a darkly lit New York City pub.
What makes this meeting unique is that additional places around the East Village are linked to the bar’s Wi-Fi-enabled node, enabling anybody in the vicinity to piggyback on all the signals and browse websites only available to others on the network.
It’s a decades-old technology called a mesh network that allows people to browse the internet without using a conventional internet service provider (ISP), and it may be resurrected among blockchain aficionados as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to abolish “net neutrality.”
Bitcoin has already significantly impacted Latin America’s economy, as individuals have stored their money in this new digital commodity while their state-issued currency has plummeted in value. For example, during the November 14 coup, the price of bitcoin in Zimbabwe soared. In addition, Bitcoin is a loaded pistol aimed at the skull of any non-US government that does not have its financial house in order. If this dynamic can occur in Argentina, Venezuela, and Brazil, it would only take one major shock to Europe for nations such as Greece, Italy, and Spain to exchange part of their currencies for bitcoin.
Bitcoin is the most significant existential danger to banking in human history, and a tsunami of crypto currencies is following in its wake to threaten other established regimes. Today’s FCC decision is only beneficial for the free market if you think that corporations like Comcast, Time Warner, Facebook, and others will not participate in predatory tactics that the FCC has now deemed lawful and that Congress will not attempt to reign in those bad actors if they do. If you think that can happen, then give me whatever you’re smoking because this is a major bummer, and I need to escape reality right now. At the very least, we have a new generation of technology that seeks to achieve the same thing, not by modifying your body chemistry but by changing reality itself.
Net neutrality is an important principle and an idea that advocates must preserve and support an “open internet.” However, for telecommunications companies and ISPs, it presents an obstacle that harms their profitability.
It is reinforced that such companies spend millions of dollars on lobbying and supporting political campaigns to overturn rules in their favour. Ultimately, the future of net neutrality lies in the hands of leaders and politicians responsible for creating rules that benefit society as a whole.