Net Neutrality Defeated: Are You Ready For The Big Slowdown? – UnderhoodService

Net Neutrality Defeated: Are You Ready For The Big Slowdown?

When a shop logs on to the Internet, a lot of things are taken for granted. We assume that we will be able to access whatever website we want, whether it be an OEM service information website, video technician training or a website to order parts. Also, we assume that our websites are being treated the same no matter what network or device we are using to view them. But all that could change.

Eight years ago, I predicted a grim future after the U.S. House of Representatives voted down the Net Neutrality Amendment by a vote of 269 to 152. Earlier this year, it became a sad reality that this could affect your shop. 
What is Net Neutrality?
When a shop logs on to the Internet, a lot of things are taken for granted. We assume that we will be able to access whatever website we want, whether it be an OEM service information website, video technician training or a website to order parts. Also, we assume that our websites are being treated the same no matter what network or device we are using to view them. 
 
What makes all these assumptions possible is “network neutrality,” the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet. Net neutrality means that Internet service providers (ISP) may not discriminate between different kinds of content or who is providing it. It guarantees a level playing field for all websites and Internet technologies. 
 
But all that could change.
The ruling
On Jan. 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order in the case of Verizon v. FCC. This ruling killed net neutrality, which means ISPs are now able to block any website or app they want and decide what you can do and where you can go online.
The biggest cable and telephone companies would like to charge you money for smooth access to certain websites and for these websites to have access to you. Those who don’t make a deal and pay up will experience discrimination. It is double dipping. 
 
For you, a subscriber and small business owner, it means that an ISP can control the pipe that delivers information to you through two methods. First, if a website does not pay an ISP to use their Internet pipeline, it has a right to reduce the bandwidth. Second, if you want full access to the Internet at usable speeds, it could cost you a lot more. 
 
You could find yourself needing a training video or a download of a wiring diagram, and it might be unwatchable or take forever to download because you did not pay for a top-tier Internet package, or the company hosting the information did not pay the ISP for access to you. 
What can you do?
Not much. You can contact your government representatives and sign online petitions, but you are at the mercy of your ISP.  

You May Also Like

BendPak Founder Don Henthorn Passes Away

Grew company from small machine shop to global leader in car lifts and garage equipment.

Don Henthorn, owner and founder of BendPak Inc., peacefully passed away at home Thursday, March 28, at the age of 85. Under his leadership, BendPak has grown from a small machine shop to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of car lifts and automotive service equipment.

Management and operations of the privately owned company are unchanged. 

ASE Practice Tests Available Online

You can get a good idea of what to expect by adding the official ASE practice tests to your study plans.

AACF Celebrates 65 Years Serving the Aftermarket

AACF will be announcing more details about this commemorative fundraiser April 1st.

Bendix Releases Technical Materials for ADAS Support

They are designed to help technicians properly set up, inspect, and diagnose several components integrated with ADAS.

Dayco Adds Almost 30 Part Numbers in March

The 29 new part numbers will be available by the end of March for distributors interested in adding to their product coverage.

Other Posts

Non-Competes: A Non-Starter, Says FTC

The FTC’s rule is set to take effect in about four months, unless it is blocked by legal challenges.

ASE Designates June as Automotive Service Professionals Month

ASE urges industry members to embrace Automotive Service Professionals Month as a platform for expressing gratitude.

ZF Aftermarket Releases 80 New Parts

The latest additions expand coverage to more than 5 million vehicles in operation.

Vehlo Acquires Shop Management Software, Shop-Ware

Shop-Ware is a cloud-based shop management platform catering to independent automotive aftermarket repair shops.