NSBA Opposes Net Neutrality Repeal

December 8, 2017

On Friday, Dec. 1, the NSBA Board of Trustees voted to oppose the planned repeal of net neutrality rules, which would allow internet providers to slow down or block access altogether to certain sites, or speed up access to others. The repeal proposal, offered by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai would eliminate the FCC requirement which currently mandates internet service providers to provide equal access to the internet. The proposal will be voted on during the FCC’s Dec. 14 meeting and is expected to pass.

Eliminating the net neutrality rules could grant internet companies “gatekeeper” status over the internet, giving them great power to charge higher for certain content and/or speed. This change would allow internet companies to charge a fee for bandwidth use, stymieing access to information and content to those with fewer resources. Furthermore, this change could make breaking out with a new technology, or product, or company all the more difficult—something about which NSBA’s members are concerned.

Although the formal adoption of net neutrality rules in 2015—and the preceding 10 years when the FCC adhered to net neutrality-like principles—was not in response to any existing access issues, the significant potential for an unfair playing field for small businesses is problematic. The repeal of this rule could result in making small business owners second-class citizens if they are unable to pay premiums for online access to their websites and/or content.

NSBA is urging its members to contact the FCC Chairman and Commissioners and urge them to oppose the proposal to repeal the net neutrality rules.

Click here TODAY to urge the FCC to oppose Chairman Pai’s proposal!