Net Neutrality Debate in US Could Have Global Ripple Effects
It could also have ripple effects overseas.
Experts say the ruling could be a boon to other countries if innovation is hampered in the U.S.
But it could be bad news, too, for Internet users outside the U.S. because other governments could adopt similar rules and regulations.
The ruling (http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/3AF8B4D938CDEEA685257C6000532062/$file/11-1355-1474943.pdf) by the
Net neutrality means that ISPs are to provide equal access to all types of Internet content.
According to the 2010
Opponents of the ruling say the decision could lead to an Internet that is vastly different from what American surfers are used to today, particularly because ISPs could charge extra for certain content or slow down the content delivery of competitors.
"One thing is for sure: today's decision will not change consumers' ability to access and use the Internet as they do now," wrote
"The court's decision will allow more room for innovation, and consumers will have more choices to determine for themselves how they access and experience the Internet," he wrote. "
The court's decision is not the final word, however.
What the outcome will mean for
"This could have several impacts internationally," said
Still, the ruling could be a boon to startups outside
"If innovators or startups here are disincentivized to create new services or applications, that may affect users abroad by limiting supply of new content and innovations," said Yeh. "Or, we could see those same innovators and investment dollars move for better opportunities elsewhere."
The world is watching.
Many experts believe the biggest effect of the lack of net neutrality in the U.S. to non-Americans would be the example it sets.
"Other countries may be watching to see how this plays out and may decide to follow suit, which could mean fewer protections for Internet users abroad," said Yeh.
McDiarmid said the ruling will likely ripple across the globe.
"I think it's a case that the U.S. remains a model for Internet policy for the world," he said. "Not having it here may make it less likely to have it in other places."
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