Next week we get a new president, and along with that will come a new FCC and a new regulatory regime. But that’s next week, and this week the current Democratic majority on the FCC is apparently making the most of its microphone while it still has the floor.
The FCC says that both AT&T and Verizon are likely violating network neutrality. How? By using zero rating and sponsored data to favor their own data above others. T-Mobile’s Binge On offering, however, was given a passing grade, as it offers the same advantages to participating OTT content as it does to itself.
But of course none of this means much at all. It was just a letter, not a vote on actuall action or rulemaking or something. Also, Chairman Tom Wheeler will be leaving as soon as the incoming president picks his replacement.
That replacement could be current commissioner Ajit Pai, who has already said the agency’s direction will be changing — not that we needed the notification. But just what that will mean for network neutrality as imposed via Title II remains unclear. Will it be repealed with no immediate replacement, as is contemplated for Obamacare?
Like everything else under a Trump administration, things could get quite interesting. The sky won’t fall, but it would be silly to not expect some network operators to respond with changes to their data plans, network management, and perhaps even peering policies. Yes, that last one was affected by the FCC’s net neutrality implementation as well.
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