The Federal Communications Commission’s June 2015 net neutrality rules that ban Internet providers from selectively blocking or slowing websites or charging more for faster relaying are about to change.
On December 14, the five-member FCC board, consisting of three Republicans and two Democrats and chaired by Trump appointee Ajit Pai, is expected to vote along party lines to roll back the Obama-era rules.
Repealing net neutrality under the banner of deregulation clears a fresh path for Internet access providers to make money in new ways.
Ultimately, that means making money from consumers. But luckily, there’s a way for us consumers to make some money too.
The End is Nigh
New FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a former associate general counsel at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), has made rolling back net neutrality regulations a “priority,” citing claims that it has “stifled innovation” and epitomizes “government overreach.”
While the vote to reverse neutrality rules appears to be a foregone conclusion, with new rules likely taking effect in early 2018, legal briefs challenging the U-turn are already being prepared.
According to Blake Reid, a clinical professor at Colorado Law, broadband providers will likely wait to see how legal challenges to new FCC orders go. “They’ll probably keep an eye on 2018 and even 2020 elections as well. The courts could shoot down the FCC’s order, or, given enough public pressure, Congress even could pass new net neutrality laws,” Reid says.
In the meantime, Internet access providers don’t have to wait for legal challenges to whatever new rules will be enacted, and probably won’t.
Besides, they’ve already gotten around some of those rules (legally, of course).
For example, Verizon tries to drive users to their own apps by exempting them from mobile data limits. The same goes for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) customers when they access the AT&T DirecTV Now video-streaming service, and T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) allows multiple video and music streaming services to bypass its data limits.
CRITICAL: Cash In Thanks to Big Tobacco’s Misdeeds
Steering consumers to company-owned content by packaging them in data plans has become an acceptable sidestep of net neutrality rules.
Proposed new rules let Internet service providers freely block content, slow video-streaming services from rivals, and offer “fast lanes” to preferred partners, giving them an exponentially greater level of control of channels, cost of access, and speed of content across the Internet.
In the future (which could be as soon as next year), internet services could mimic cable-TV packages. Subscription packages could be limited to certain sites and services. Of course, for a few dollars more, subscribers will be able to add to their menu items. And, for another fistful of dollars, maybe have unlimited access to everything at the speed of… whatever you’re willing to pay for.
Net neutrality advocates adamantly maintain that directed offerings by access providers harm competition, especially smaller providers trying to offer competing access services, content and app providers who are easily disadvantaged. Most of all, they maintain that it will harm consumers, whose choices drift further from their control.
Three Companies to Buy Into Now
While companies like Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), Amazon.Com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) are against overturning net neutrality rules, they at least have the money to pay higher fees to get their content delivered at the fastest streaming rates they’d be charged.
Smaller companies won’t be able to pay up. Their content could potentially be delivered more slowly, or not at all.
Ultimately, consumers will bear the burden of increased costs, whether they’re pass-through charges from the likes of Netflix or direct charges for access to competitors’ content at a preferred speed.
Along with promising to overturn net neutrality, the FCC wants transparency under new rules, to assure consumers, websites, and app developers they won’t be arbitrarily disadvantaged.
That transparency calls for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to act as referee and enforcer.
If a provider blocks or slows certain websites, or gives preferential treatment to content it owns, that provider would have to inform consumers of its policy on an easily accessible website. And if service providers, content providers, and consumers aren’t satisfied with that and claim any kind of anti-competitive behavior, they’ll have to take it to the FTC.
Ready to do its part, on the heels of the FCC’s announced upcoming vote, the FTC’s acting chairman Maureen Ohlhausen stated, “The FTC stands ready to protect broadband subscribers from anticompetitive, unfair, or deceptive acts and practices just as we protect consumers in the rest of the Internet ecosystem.”
The bottom-line is, consumers are going to pay more for access, packages, and speed. No matter what the FTC says or does.
That might be okay if you know how to make money off the FCC pending changes to everyone’s access to the Internet, the content, and speed of delivery (especially for all you mobile junkies).
There are going to be companies, especially content manufacturers, whose stocks are going to dip on the prospect of increased costs to access what they offer at desirable speeds.
Those dips are going to be buying opportunities.
With the ability to package preferential (company owned) content at desirable speeds and reduced data charges, big broadband companies will be looking for acquisitions. The end of net neutrality will open up mergers and acquisitions floodgates, and knowing which companies are going to make it onto buyers’ lists can make you a lot of money.
I’ll be pointing out who’s in play as soon as the new rules are published.
In the meantime, buying the big Internet providers – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile – is a no-brainer.
They’re going to be growing their offering menus and their revenue from pending deregulation.
Besides, what’s not to like owning a couple of giant revenue-rich communications utility companies that throw off juicy dividends?
Meanwhile, I’ll be showing Zenith Trading Circle members how they could accelerate their profits by trading on opportunities like these. In fact, the longer you wait to join, the more opportunities you’re missing out on.
Steve L from Georgetown, TX wrote in about his very first Zenith trade, where he made a fat 267%. Thank you, Steve, I love hearing from members like you.
For everyone else, you still have time to get my next trade recommendation when you join now.
You can trust that I will be following the developments in this story very closely.