When the Federal Communications Commission decided to repeal net neutrality at their December meeting, the reactions went along the lines that you might expect. For small ISP's and especially municipals, net neutrality didn't really affect how they treated customers' data but was seen as more of a regulatory/paperwork burden. There seems to be little appetite among community-based providers to start engaging in the types of behaviors that net neutrality supporters are concerned about.
On immediate impact of the repeal that I've noticed is an explosion of interest among community activists in several communities in Iowa and elsewhere in building municipal networks. During one 4-hour period in late December, I was engaged in Facebook conversations with people in several different communities - Ames, Dubuque, Davenport, Rock Island, IL, West Des Moines, Pleasant Hill - who reached out to me about what they could do to promote municipal broadband in their towns. One of their main reasons for doing so was concerns that the end of net neutrality would mean the end of the Internet as they know it, and the hope that building a municipal network would insulate them from some of those effects.
This net neutrality wave of interest comes on the heels of other recent community interest and action across Iowa. Examples:
It could be an interesting 2018 for new municipal networks across the nation.
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Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.