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Narrowly passing a vote today, new internet regulations are set to take effect in the beginning of the new year, which will grant federal regulators the authority to regulate internet traffic.  Their intent is to prevent unfair market manipulation by large internet providers, however, is the real effect going to be an increasingly complicated and over-protected small business environment with higher end-consumer costs?  Read an article by the WSJ here.

More than ever before, the importance of broadband access is being discussed in Washington and amongst Telecom companies across the U.S. Perhaps due to the disparity between other minority groups’ use of broadband and that among Latinos (44% of Latinos have adopted broadband usage compared with more than 56% of African-Americans and 67% for White-Americans)* the issue is being discussed whether Broadband is essential for Latino’s success. Is this technology’s importance being blown out of proportion?

The importance of the issue is being highlighted by the government’s proposed intervention in internet technologies through “Net Neutrality,” the billions of dollars (with a “B”) in resources being earmarked for projects across the country**, and the many studies demonstrating correlations between access to technologies and economic success. Essentially, however, all agree that the future of broadband will a have wide-ranging impact on all Americans, not just minorities. But specifically considering the case of minorities, lack of access or slow adoption will have a tremendous impact on their futures. Read the rest of this entry »

A study, published in April of this year by The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, gives interesting details on what may actually happen if Net Neutrality is implemented by the FCC.

In the study, researchers concluded that plans promoted by the FCC would have the opposite intended effect on broadband household penetration. The FCC would like broadband providers to invest heavily in infrastructure that would allow greater access to all Americans across the board, but especially amongst the lower levels of penetration within Hispanic and other minority communities. However, the increased costs that broadband providers will incur will be passed onto consumers, which will result in decreased market penetration for Hispanics, African-Americans, and others, according to the research. Read the rest of this entry »

The Harvard Business Review‘s take:

Most business executives likely have never come across the concept. Yet despite its limited reach to a small audience of policy wonks, President Obama made it a campaign issue in 2008, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is determined to make it the law, and industry analysts are concerned that its passage would undermine investment by Internet service providers (ISPs). A recent pact on the subject between Google and Verizon — the largest representatives on both sides of the debate — made the covers of the nation’s major newspapers this week. What’s the fuss over this thing called “net neutrality“?

At its core, net neutrality seeks to ensure that ISPs (like Verizon) do not advantage one content provider (like Google) over another (like Yahoo!). But instead of looking to the widely accepted and proven non-discrimination provisions in other areas of communications (such as cable programming), the FCC has crafted a brand new concept of non-discrimination. Read the rest of this entry »

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