With the recent ruling by Congress which will allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to sell customers’ browsing information to marketing firms, we at SVRG are reflecting on the future of the great intellectual frontier known as The Internet. Though it is not yet determined if President Trump will sign S.J.Res.34 into law, expectations are high that he will do so. This will set a precedent in allowing ISPs to exercise control over internet user experience.
In musing over the future it is necessary to reflect on the past. It was only a few short years ago that Net Neutrality was at the forefront of discussion. We’d like to share Al Nazarelli’s thoughts on that issue with you once again…
As a policy, Silicon Valley Research Blog does not comment on political issues but we need to break this rule today. The court decision on net neutrality today in our opinion is a devastating blow to American innovation. At a time when we need innovators to start companies and create jobs, our judicial system has chosen to hamstring our competitive advantage.
A review of the press this morning, indicates a mild reaction overall with consumers being assured it will not affect how they consume and pay for services in the short term. This is misguided however. For-profit companies are just that-they seek to maximize their profits; nothing wrong with that. It’s their charter. However, to believe that they will somehow self-regulate is a fallacy. That's what the financial regulators thought about Wall Street and look at the mess that got us into.
We find Verizon basing their arguments on the first amendment specious. If anything, net neutrality protects first amendment rights by not letting carriers decide to unilaterally block certain content.
New business models will emerge, no doubt, to maximize revenue. The concept of "common carrier" with transparency and open road rules will no longer apply. When will our lawmakers and judiciary learn that opacity over transparency is never a good thing?
For the start-up clients we work with at Silicon Valley Research Group, this is indeed a blow. We have always believed that there has never been a better time to start an internet company than now. TILL NOW THAT IS!
This story is bigger than the attention the media has given it. For a good overview of what this means, see:
Al Nazarelli is President & CEO of Silicon Valley Research Group, a global market research and strategy development firm.