It seems like it’s been in the news all week. The futile attempt in saving the neutrality of the internet (or at least in the US). Let’s be honest here, the chances of success were really slim here; Trump appointed a chair of the FCC that would implement whatever he gets told to.
At least, in Canada, our government seems to believe in the net neutrality, and, it the past, the CRTC did call out on Internet Providers about it. For example, they stopped Videotron from offering unlimited music streaming with their cellphone plans. However, the US is so big, and so close to us, that, in the long run, some side effects will probably come up.
One might question why it’s such a big deal? After all, if I take the example I brought up before, being able to listen to as much music as you’d like without worrying about busting your data allotment seems like a good thing for us consumers. It might be a good deal now, but it would most definitely hinder a new comer with revolutionary algorithms, as customers would need to pay extra (the data usage) to use their services. This could eventually slow the rate innovation arrives to everyone.
Also, in a period of vertical integration, where big internet providers also own content, they could decide to throttle the speed of the sites from competitors in order to drive customers to their service and the extra revenue it can generate.
Granted, in a situation like that, trade commission would most certainly investigate and hopefully block things, but just the possibility is scary.