KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The FCC passed new rules to better govern the Internet, and their approval has the potential to help many local entrepreneurs.
The new set of rules is called net neutrality, and while it won’t become official until summer, it means all companies will have access to the same Internet speeds.
In a 3-2 vote, the FCC gave itself the power to regulate the Internet, meaning no more Internet fast lanes for the rich tech companies that can pay for it. Also, cable companies can no longer block the websites of companies that anger them or refuse to pay an extra fee.
The approval of net neutrality can help many entrepreneurs because they don’t have extra funds when starting their business to pay cable companies for preferential treatment.
Until Thursday’s approval by the FCC, big companies like Netflix that stream a lot of video paid cable companies extra money to ensure their videos downloaded faster than other companies’ videos. Some companies that didn’t pay extra saw their video downloading speeds slowed down.
With the approval of net neutrality, small companies such as those popping up at the Startup Village in Kansas City, Kan. will be treated fairly and can better compete with the big corporations. Their videos will now download just as quickly as videos from big companies.
“Electricity is regulated,” Matthew Marcus of the Startup Village said. “Water is regulated. So many of these other services that everyone relies on day in and day out are regulated appropriately and I think the Internet deserves the same because it’s just too common to have it be completely privatized.”