Fellow Americans, the FCC has re-instated the regulations known as Net Neutrality repealed seven years ago. This move continues to be a magnet for political debate by those on both extremes. Our message hasn’t changed: Ignore those people. They are only wasting your time. If you become distracted by this cyclic phenomenon, you will lose to competition. We can’t stress our recommendation enough — just roll up your sleeves and develop a plan to work around the new rules. 

Here are the things you should know to help you respond to this government action pragmatically: 

  • The world as you knew it yesterday did not suddenly descend into chaos. This transition will take time to play out. 
  • Pricing models will change. Educate yourself on how the various carriers will alter their pricing. We do expect rationalization and rebranding of product offerings reflected in de-bundling/re-bundling of services (e.g. social media package, streaming video package, gaming package) previously sold as add-ons to basic services.  
  • Consumers are impacted more than business users, but business is not immune. 
  • Enterprise technology organizations should re-evaluate their remote worker, small office, and partner connections. If these were leveraging premium consumer add-on bundles, expect traffic handling to become “best effort” for all now.  If these connections are critical to your business outcomes, consider business-grade services instead. 
  • Advertisers and media producers will need to think “free” again. Bringing back what was previously “free” is utopian thinking but not impossible. It will sit very well with a lot of people, especially in the current macroeconomic situation.  
  • For consumer apps, 5G network slicing take-off will be further delayed. Carrier motivation for bringing network slicing in combination with the software development community will slowly fizzle away for consumer apps. However, it will still be relevant for business apps powering organizations’ productivity and experiences.   
  • Innovation won’t stop. With or without net neutrality, human innovation will continue surprising us — gen AI flourished during non-net neutrality days. 
  • Edge computing will be the winner. Open internet rules don’t impact over-the-top offers. They leave the door open for application-level offerings, as long as edge providers don’t ask for preferential treatment from internet providers. VIP gaming, streaming, healthcare, and collaboration services are all up for grabs, powered by edge computing at the engagement edge layer. Expect your favorite engagement application providers to offer more service tiers.  

Keep serving your customers and focus on your business outcomes. This change impacts your competitors as much as it does you. Stay focused on making your customers happy — and capitalize on that! It’s time to get to work! 

Engage with us via an inquiry call by emailing inquiry@forrester.com