The ongoing struggle to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISP) from restricting, or even blocking, content for pretty much any reason they see fit crossed an important threshold on 2/26/2015 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a new net neutrality plan which reclassifies broadband internet as a Title II public utility.
Reclassifying broadband providers, including mobile broadband, as a public utility provides the legal framework necessary for constructing and enforcing regulations that prevent those companies from charging businesses and users varying rates to deliver or access content, a process known colloquially as net neutrality.
Over the past few years, the FCC has been the target of numerous lawsuits from broadband providers in an effort to gain that level of unregulated control. Consequently, you can expect legal challenges to the latest decision along with political maneuvering from Representatives and Senators sympathetic to mega-corporations that comprise the bulk of broadband providers (Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, etc.).
Fortunately, with the classification in place, it makes their collective task that much more difficult and the process drawn out so for the time being, net neutrality is secure but don’t expect the struggle to go away anytime soon.
Learn more about why this is such a critical issue for nonprofit performing arts organizations and how it has unfolded over the past few years.