business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Seattle Times reports that the Washington State Senate has passed a bill, already passed by the state’s House of Representatives, that supports the concept of net neutrality, “requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all information and content zipping through their networks equally.”

Net neutrality is essentially defined as a policy requiting all internet providers to treat all websites equally, regardless of size. The Trump-era Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is rolling back that requirement, saying that those rules reflected the ”heavy hand” of government excess that only served to inhibit innovation and research at telecom and cable companies. Those who object to this move argue that it will mean that companies with deep pockets will be able to pay for faster access to consumers, which is not in the public interest.

In the wake of the FCC decision, the governors of two states - Steve Bullock of Montana and Andrew Cuomo of New York - have signed orders that challenge the net neutrality rollback by mandating that their state officials and offices purchase Internet service only from broadband companies that abide by the principles of net neutrality. In Washington State, the bill now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee, who in the past has supported net neutrality.
KC's View:
This definitely is a business issue. John Ross, president/CEO of IGA Inc., has extolled his system’s retailers to be politically active in supporting net neutrality, believing that the dismantling of the rules will hurt the independent businesses that make up IGA.

The lines between the two sides of the issue have been fairly specific, with content companies like Amazon and Google favoring net neutrality, and distribution companies like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner lobbying for deregulation.

Me, I’m with the content guys.