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Predictions for Net Neutrality in A Trump Administration

By Chrissie Cluney December 20, 2016

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same. It is a topic of high interest as we enter a new era with a newly elected President.


Gary Griffiths, CEO, iPass, a leading provider of global mobile connectivity, has answered some of our questions on the issue of net neutrality with respect to what President-elect Trump might do.

IoT Evolution: Given that Net Neutrality is on the line, what is the implication for service providers build outs and differentiated services? 
Gary Griffiths: The real questions are: "What was the motivation behind new neutrality in the first place? What was the problem that was being solved?" The idea that ISP's - Comcast and the like - were restricting access to certain parties and favoring others is just silly. The free market is alive and well on the Internet, and competition between the ISP's ensures that the consumer is the ultimate winner.

Free market economics always create higher supply, lower price, and better service than artificially regulated economics. If you follow the money on net neutrality, and strip out baseless fears of ISPs or phone companies deciding who can view what when, it is evident that net neutrality is the first step in allowing the taxing Internet traffic as interstate telecommunications services. So the roll back of net neutrality is good for the consumer, as it will allow ISPs to compete for their business on a level playing field. In general, we can expect to see an overall trend of rolling back federal regulations and reducing the power and oversight of several federal agencies - not just the FCC.  And that would be a good thing for the tech industry and business in general.

IoTE: Any thoughts about the reversal of Title II being applied to the Internet?
GG: As noted above, in an administration likely to act in favor of free markets over stricter regulation, this won't happen immediately. Though there will be, apparently, a moratorium on any new federal regulations. But when Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s term expires next June, expect this seat will be filled with a third Republican, giving the GOP a 3-2 margin, allowing them to overturn Title II classification of the Internet.

IoTE: Traditionally the Courts (District 10) has been the home of telecom policy litigation. Given the FCC reversal, is the court activity going to decrease, or just have a new set of players?
GG: The only thing as certain as death and taxes is increased court activity in reaction to any changes in status quo.

IoTE: As an enabler for roaming and connectivity, what is your expectation on the impact on your business – are you going to have new services as a result of the administration change?
GG: Like him or hate him, Donald Trump is the most pro-business president ever to hold the office. And pro-business means less regulation, more free market economy, and increased competition. This is good for the economy, good for business, good for technology, and good for iPass. And certainly good for the average consumer.

IoTE: Many carriers are heading towards rolling their own services with 5G and Smart Cell solutions. Will this impact your interfaces to the last mile providers?
GG: In a word, no. iPass is well connected with the world's major carriers, and as a software company with a heritage of intelligent connection technology - not Wi-Fi - we are well positioned in an ever-evolving business of connectivity solutions.  That said, 5G is hardly around the corner, and will likely emerge initially as a fixed, not mobile, medium.

IoTE: If you could set the agenda for the first 100 days what is the one thing you would like to see?
GG: The rollback of federal oversight and power, which has been increasing steadily over decades, returning more control closer to the problems and the constituents - back to the states where it belongs.

Our world is definitely about to change with the inauguration of President-elect Trump in more ways than one. Time will tell if the predictions of Griffiths will come to fruition or not.




Edited by Ken Briodagh
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