Internet of Things are an integral part of our lives without which, it is unimaginable to exist in this era of technological progression. Everything we use these days is some way or another, connected to Internet. So it comes as no surprise that changes in the net neutrality has direct impact on Internet of Things. Here in this article, we are going to discuss the influence end of net neutrality will have on Internet of Things, if and when it happens.
What is Net Neutrality, anyways?
Net neutrality pertains to the fact that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should give equal access to all legal content and applications to its consumers. (Denisenko, 2017) This abstain any one organization to monopolize. For example, due to net neutrality, we can have Apple laptop, Android phone connected to internet provided by same ISP and get same data transfer speed without discrimination. (Memoori, 2017) In case net neutrality is compromised, in theory, Facebook could make a deal with ISPs around the world to give it high data transfer speed than, say Twitter and could monopolize social media. This pretty much summarize what net neutrality means and what are its impacts on us provided its neutrality is compromised.
Internet of Things and Net Neutrality
Internet of Things connected to the internet may be one or two or they may be twenty at the same time. Net neutrality enables you to connect all of them with the same connection without the need for subscribing multiple connections for different gadgets. (Finley, 2017)Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supports regulating the ISPs to keep the net neutrality intact but still allows zero-rating which is criticized and categorized to be violating net neutrality. Zero-rating is the practice adopted by ISPs like Comcast and Verizon in which they let their customers consume unlimited data from certain platforms. This has raised questions about FCC regulations on net neutrality and the fact that FCC has not entirely banned the practice. (Denisenko, 2017)
Even though the amount of data transfer that takes place through IoTs is not on very large scale, still in real-time, their significance cannot be ignored. So, here the question arises whether ISPs with honor net neutrality if regulations are removed? Answer is not that simple. According to Comcast, they will honor it whether the rules are revoked or not. But as the history of business has shown time and again, decision are made and changed based on profit and accumulation of power, not on principles. (Memoori, 2017)
Impact of end of net neutrality is real and it can affect IoTs in a big way as IoTs depends a lot on the openness of Internet for all without discrimination. It is highly probable that ISPs are going to end net neutrality policy. This means, that the companies manufacturing IoTs, have to adapt to new changes and redesign their gadgets and technology in order to work in the new environment that will not offer an open internet for all. (Illmatical, 2017)
Internet of Things is the basis of smart cities and smart homesteads which may be able to develop eco-friendly environment and make the future more energy efficient. Therefore, it is imperative that openness of Internet should be opted by ISPs as after all, they are going to living on the same planet as ours.
- Denisenko, S. (2017, February 20). the implications of the end of net neutrality. Retrieved July 23, 2017, from TC: https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/20/the-implications-of-the-end-of-net-neutrality/
- Finley, K. (2017, June 06). The End of Net Neutrality Could Shackle The Internet of Things. Retrieved July 23, 2017, from Wired: https://www.wired.com/2017/06/end-net-neutrality-shackle-internet-things/
- Illmatical, C. (2017, January 22). Could the end of net neutrality mean the demise of IoT? Retrieved July 23, 2017, from readwrite: https://readwrite.com/2017/01/22/end-of-net-neutrality-demise-of-iot-il1/
- (2017, June 13). Will We Lose Net Neutrality and What Impact Will That Have on The Internet of Things? Retrieved July 23, 2017, from memoori: https://www.memoori.com/will-lose-net-neutrality-impact-will-internet-things/