Contact us today!

FRS Pros Blog

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Net Neutrality Discussion

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Net Neutrality Discussion

The cloud cast by COVID-19 wouldn’t seem to have very much of a silver lining at all, but if one looks very closely, there is the faintest one there. As more and more people are subscribing to self isolation and similar practices, remote work has become a more pressing need. In response, many Internet service providers and mobile data carriers are taking action and putting changes in place that actually resemble net neutrality.

Before we get too far into this, let’s go over what “net neutrality” is.

The Foundations of Net Neutrality

The fundamental idea behind net neutrality is that of the open Internet: that all content and all websites are given equal footing, regardless of the platform used to access them.  Basically, an Internet service provider (ISP) wouldn’t be allowed to make a user’s connection to a big global enterprise’s website faster than it would be to your website.

One analogy for net neutrality that many experts have used is that of the “dumb pipe.” In a city’s water system, all users would ideally get the same water pressure--their individual identity and specific use of the water isn’t factored into the speed at which they receive it.

Net neutrality has its biggest supporters in human rights, civil rights, and consumer advocacy groups, as well as in many major websites. However, Internet Service Providers and telecom companies have been resistant to the idea in the past, largely because of some of the other implications brought by net neutrality. 

The entire issue is fascinating, but is far too in-depth and convoluted for a single blog post--the important thing to keep in mind here is that telecoms and ISPs have generally been opposed to net neutrality in the past.

What the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Caused

With coronavirus running amok around the world, and more and more people subscribing to the social isolation policies suggested by entities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has become clear to many that connectivity has become a critical need for our society. As a result, the Federal Communications Commission has taken steps and released a pledge for ISPs and telecoms to take up.

Here is the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, as written in a press release given by the FCC on March 13:

“Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days to: 

  • (1) not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; 
  • (2) waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and 
  • (3) open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.”

Dozens of providers had signed the pledge within a day, and many others have taken other steps to help soften the blow dealt by COVID-19 in addition to what is demanded by the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said,

“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected. Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and — importantly — take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus.”

Many observers have noted that this approach relies on many of the tenets of net neutrality, but in the face of a disaster like COVID-19, it also seems very necessary in order to support the large amount of people who will have no choice but to work from home at some point, and will need that Internet access and speed.

What do you think? Has your mobile carrier or Internet provider lifted data caps and other restrictions to help you rely on the Internet better? Share your thoughts in the comments--just do your best to keep it civil.

What are Tech Industry Giants Doing About COVID-19...
Taking a Short Look at Windows 10’s Action Center

Mobile? Grab this Article!


Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Best Practices Productivity Network Security Business Computing Privacy Internet User Tips Software Hackers Cloud Microsoft Google Hardware Innovation Efficiency Business Management Data Computer Communication Windows 10 Hosted Solutions Email Smartphones Tech Term IT Support IT Services Malware Mobile Devices Cybersecurity Data Backup Business Upgrade Disaster Recovery Android Smartphone Office 365 Data Recovery Backup Small Business Outsourced IT Browser Workplace Tips VoIP Internet of Things Gadgets Windows Apps Users Communications Cloud Computing Business Continuity Phishing Data Security Collaboration Cybercrime Saving Money Managed IT Services Ransomware Information Automation Network Operating System Miscellaneous Managed Service Mobile Device Management Microsoft Office Facebook OneNote Money Artificial Intelligence Alert Server Passwords Law Enforcement Social Media Blockchain Two-factor Authentication Vulnerability Employer-Employee Relationship Health Chrome IT Support Virtualization Managed IT Managed IT Services Spam Mobile Office Best Practice Holiday Applications Quick Tips Networking Wireless Mobile Device Hacking Windows 7 Gmail Word Windows 10 Conferencing Save Money Patch Management Computers Project Management Managed Service Provider Information Technology Data Breach Bandwidth Unsupported Software Augmented Reality BYOD Access Control App Telephone Systems Printing Tech Support Bring Your Own Device Password Router Data Storage Retail Google Drive Settings Avoiding Downtime Mobility Data Loss Search Wi-Fi Audit Update Business Technology Wireless Charging Politics Meetings Google Docs Shortcut Software as a Service Data Protection Hard Drive Display Devices Going Green Social Human Resources Budget Government BDR Wireless Technology Cost Management IT Management Data Management Payment Cards Marketing Robot WannaCry Travel Commerce The Internet of Things Excel Productivity File Sharing Application Paperless Office Sports Fraud Encryption VPN iPhone Safety Mobile Security Evernote SaaS History Vendor Telephony Proactive IT Google Assistant User Error Hybrid Cloud Touchscreen Risk Management WiFi Remote Workers Hosted Solution Cortana Voice over Internet Protocol Charger Entertainment Value Wasting Time Benchmarks Ciminal Keyboard Medical IT Windows 10s HBO Smart Devices Data Privacy Computer Care Nanotechnology Micrsosoft Laptop Device Security Amazon Downtime Screen Mirroring Holidays Transportation Data Theft Identity Theft Investment Net Neutrality Adobe Workers Gamification Keyboard Shortcuts Unified Threat Management Managed IT Service Private Cloud Legislation Language Office Accessory Files Myths 5G DDoS Solid State Drive Sabotage Troubleshooting Vendor Management Disaster Root Cause Analysis Business Intelligence Touchpad Windows Ink Virtual Assistant E-Commerce Recovery Emails Cast Copiers Gifts Computing Computer Fan ROI Internet Service Provider Licensing Updates Memory Upgrades Managed Services Provider Comparison Scam Testing Outlook Computer Forensics Peripheral Threats Microsoft Excel IT budget Education YouTube Hard Disk Drive PC CRM Samsung Chromebook Co-Managed Services Digital Signage Humor Google Maps Spyware Alexa for Business Administrator Inventory Credit Cards App store Windows Server 2008 R2 Microsoft Word Financial Payroll Streaming Media Facebook Privacy Specifications Virus Camera Lithium-ion battery AI Legal Management Scams Personal Information Employees IT Solutions Antivirus Telephone Firewall Apple Employee Access Webinar Tablets Maintenance Security Cameras Chromecast Consultant eCommerce Reputation Sales Proactive Projects Smartwatch HIPAA Data storage Sync PowerPoint Admin Remote Monitoring Virtual Private Network Storage Social Engineering Battery OneDrive Hyperlink Processor Edge Instant Messaging Hacker Break/Fix Internet Exlporer IT solutions Hosted Desktop Remote Computing FAQ Identity Printers Development NFL eWaste Emergency Machine Learning Fiber Optics Websites Server Maintenance Remote Work Wireless Internet Saving Time Identities Point of Sale Employee-Employer Relationship Uninterrupted Power Supply iOS WIndows Server 2008 Regulation Office tips Black Market Cleaning Advertising Big Data Automobile Twitter Managing Stress USB Worker How To Books End of Support Video Games Experience HaaS Hiring/Firing Work/Life Balance Virtual Reality Relocation Current Events Electronic Medical Records Crowdsourcing Employer Employee Relationship es Phone System Cache Benefits Thank You Save Time Communitications Training Monitors PDF Computer Accessories Flexibility Music Mobile Computing Smart Technology Congratulations Television CrashOverride Compliance Company Culture Text Messaging Scalability Analytics