The United States has decided to do away with legislation that regulates internet service providers. Known as net neutrality, the regulations ensure that ISPs cannot dictate or block customer access to data and other services. Lead by President Trump, Republicans have criticized the regulations as overreaching, while Democrats believe them necessary to ensure fair and equal access to web content.
The End of an Era
On December 14th, the United States Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality. In a 3-2 vote, the FCC opted to undoe the Obama-era regulations that oversee how internet service providers charge for and manage data access.
With net neutrality, ISPs cannot discriminate against certain content, applications, and platforms, nor can they charge users for quicker or exclusive access to internet services. During Obama’s presidency, the FCC voted in net neutrality by classifying internet providers as Title II common carriers. Today’s decision removes this classification, undoing the legal backing that gave net neutrality its legitimacy.
Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the FCC, said that the vote puts the commission “on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public.” She believes that the repeal gives service provider a “green light to…discriminate and manipulate your internet traffic.”
Substratum Benefits from the News
Substratum, a decentralized web platform, ran up to a new all time high today in anticipation of the vote.
With the service, users can access the internet through a network of nodes connected to Substratum’s blockchain. Access points are broken up into multiple individually run servers, making the platform completely decentralized. Anyone can choose to host one of these servers by downloading Substratum’s client, receiving SUB, Substratum’s token, in compensation for their troubles.
Substratum is appealing to investors for its ability to essentially circumvent the problems net neutrality’s repeal may invite, as the service functions like a more efficient VPN or Tor browser. The protocol encrypts all traffic and data run through the network, meaning ISPs would not be able to determine how customers are using their internet.
After topping off at $0.49 earlier today, Substratum dipped back down to $0.40. Following the news, however, it immediately began a steady climb upwards, and given the gravity of the FCC’s decision, it’s likely that we’ll see a steady increase in the hours (or days) to come.