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Net neutrality ruling unlikely to immediately impact broadband market

Antone Gonsalves | Jan. 16, 2014
Despite a big win in a federal appeals court, Internet service providers are unlikely to make dramatic changes in the network access given to content providers such as ESPN, Facebook and Netflix, experts say.

The FCC could quietly accept the court decision in order to pursue other pressing matters, including major spectrum auctions. If that was to happen, the Federal Trade Commission could decide to take a stronger role in policing broadband markets.

Jim Harper, director of information policy studies for The Cato Institute, said Google, Netflix and other content providers have good reasons to worry about being charged for use of ISP networks, which have cost billions of dollars to build.

However, if content providers pay ISPs, then consumers could find their rates lowered.

"If the broadband marketplace reorganizes itself, so that broadband access is cheaper to the consumer, I don't see why that should be a problem," Harper said.

 

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