FLORIDA HIGH SPEED INTERNET’S POLICY ON NET NETRALITY
Simply put, Florida High Speed Internet does not block throttle or unfairly discriminate against lawful content and is committed to ongoing transparency with our customers on those polices. Florida High Speed Internet subscribed to these core principles of an open internet before the enactment of the net neutrality order over six years ago and its repeal by the FCC on December 14 does not alter our position in that regard. We do not put any limitation on how you access or use the internet, nor do we have so called “fast lanes,” which by implication means there are slower lanes.
Florida High Speed Internet peers with several upstream providers, including but not limited to CenturyLink/Level 3, Charter/Spectrum, AT&T and Cogent. For the benefit of our customers we will continue to monitor how each of these providers react to the end of net neutrality in an effort to align our network access with those that will continue to follow the same core beliefs as Florida High Speed Internet of an open and access neutral internet.
WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY AND HOW DOES THE RECENT FCC RULING AFFECT IT?
Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. Under net neutrality protections, internet service providers are barred from blocking, slowing, or providing preferred treatment to particular sites and services. The rules are designed to keep the internet open to all comers and give everyone a fair shot. In theory, without net neutrality protections, ISPs could block you from streaming video from Netflix or YouTube or charge you extra just to access those sites. They could also force Netflix or YouTube to pay more to ensure that its videos be streamed at the same speed and quality as at other video sites.
Such moves would most likely force you to pay more to view and access the videos and other information you regularly get through the internet. They also could limit your choices if the ISPs block access to particular companies' sites or charge those companies tolls that only the biggest and richest among them can afford.
The FCC has had some form of net-neutrality protections in place since 2005. After two different versions of the rules were struck down in court because the FCC over-reached it authority to regulate the internet, the FCC in 2015 officially designated broadband providers as telecommunications companies, a move that allowed it to put in place new rules grounded in its authority over such companies under Title II of the Communications Act. We at Florida High Speed Internet did not agree with the decision to designate internet service providers as telecommunications companies as doing so created significant compliance requirements and other regulatory hurdles that stifle innovation. The latest move by the FCC reverses the designation of broadband providers as telecommunications companies, a move which Florida High Speed Internet applauds. The FCC action also does away with the three major net neutrality prohibitions.
An ISP’s responsibility under the proposal would be to disclose such practices to customers. The FCC now leaves it up to the Federal Trade Commission to determine whether broadband companies were doing anything they hadn't disclosed. Assuming the rules take effect, broadband providers — wired and wireless alike — are free to create so-called fast lanes for their sites and services and those of partners that pay for the privilege. They'd also be free to charge consumers extra to access certain services like streaming video, or to block or slow down sites or services that compete with theirs — or that they simply don't like. As stated above, Florida High Speed Internet does not block throttle or unfairly discriminate against lawful content, we will not provide preferred lanes to access the internet and is committed to ongoing transparency with our customers on those polices. Florida High Speed Internet subscribed to these core principles of an open internet before the enactment of the net neutrality rule which we felt were an overreach by the federal government and we remain convinced the free market will ensure an open internet for all.