The Net And You

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with wave

This is a key month for the 21stcentury. If Net Neutrality is killed in the United States, as is the federal government’s plan, it would hurt lifelong learning programs and other non-profits big time.

Here’s what online guru Dan Belhassen told LERN, “I see educational resources as being one of those categories that could be “killed in the crossfire”. Major telcos will eventually prioritize traffic that is most valuable to them.

“There are two impacts – one is on the content, the other is on the geography.

“What the media is talking about is typically content. As in, Netflix will be faster than Youtube, if Netflix has a deal with the local ISP. This, no doubt, might impact access to some educational resources.”

Geography an even bigger concern
The bigger impact for lifelong learning programs and non-profits of killing net neutrality could be serving those in non-urban areas.Belhassen, who teaches online for UGotClass and does webinars for LERN,  identified content – – the big guys like Amazon and Walmart and Google and Netflix, versus your program’s content. You, with less money than Netflix, lose out and your customers get weak signals from you.

Belhassen told LERN, “A bigger impact, that I don’t see being discussed, in the impact on geography. For instance, let’s say that you’re a learner in Somalia. First of all, you have a disadvantage because perhaps you have less bandwidth to begin with.

“With NN (net neutrality) in place, you could at least be on an equal playing field accessing content in the US. But without NN, perhaps your entire country’s traffic gets reduced, because you are classed as a less valuable traffic source. So now, you are having to deal with local bandwidth (which, at least, you could try to do something about), but also impacted with your entire region/country being slowed down.”

Canada
Canada and other advanced nations may not suffer from the U.S. killing net neutrality, according to Belhassen, from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

He told us, “We are fortunate enough to have enough bandwidth (generally) that we wouldn’t suffer enough, unless something truly drastic happens which is unlikely. What’s more likely is that we’ll see some services prioritized (Netflix), but with enough bandwidth “we may not notice”.”

This Month is Critical
California is making some critical moves right now regarding net neutrality. California is on the verge of passing the nation’s toughest, and best, net neutrality law.

California is the world’s fifth largest economy – – yes, the world’s. So if California preserves net neutrality it will have a huge positive impact on saving net neutrality for the rest of the United States – – and your lifelong learning program.