On Thursday, Feb. 26, the Federal Communications Commission voted to apply Net Neutrality rules to the nation’s broadband networks.
In layman’s terms, this means the government has issued some requirements to internet service providers. Internet providers are not allowed to “block”, “throttle”, or give “paid prioritization” to internet traffic.
To flush this out further, internet providers cannot block lawful content from users; nor can providers throttle, or intentionally slow down, internet speeds in order to balance out traffic or minimize bandwidth congestion. Additionally, internet providers cannot give ‘fast lane’ speed priority to companies with the deep pockets willing to pay top dollar for faster speeds.
While Thursday’s ruling will remain in effect, it will likely be challenged in the courts. Those issuing the challenges are concerned that government involvement ultimately means a lack of privacy. They also fear that government involvement will lead to higher costs and inefficiencies as arguably evidenced in other federally regulated programs.
Citizens does not have an official position on this matter at this time. As always, our ultimate goal is to offer smart, sensible, quality services to you, our customers. Doing so will ensure that your locally owned provider can continue serving, supporting and enhancing Southwest Virginia for decades to come.