Guest Post: Rural Minnesota Provider’s view on Net Neutrality

I have another guest post today from Bill Eckles, CEO of BEVCOMM, a fourth-generation, family owned telecom/broadband provider headquartered in Blue Earth. They serve more than 20,000 homes over 1,500 square miles. Here is what Bill had to say about Net Neutrality…

There has been a lot of speculation about what large ISPs will do now that the network neutrality regulations from 2015 have been repealed.  Unfortunately, much of the media coverage is lumping all ISPs together.  It doesn’t seem as if anyone has bothered to ask what the small rural ISPs will do.

In 2015 when FCC Chairman Wheeler pushed to classify all ISP’s under Title II regulation, I fielded many calls from both customers and local media.  The questions were nearly always the same.  How will these new regulations affect BEVCOMM?  The answer was easy.  The new network neutrality rules had absolutely no effect.  BEVCOMM was already regulated under Title II and BEVCOMM had always followed the principals of network neutrality.  Every other rural service provider I knew had the exact same answer as I did.

The FCC now, under Chairman Pai, has unclassified ISPs under Title II regulation which has the effect of ending network neutrality rules.  Once again, I’m taking the same questions from customers and the local media asking about the repeal of network neutrality.  Once again, the answer is easy.  The repeal doesn’t change anything for BEVCOMM.  Nor would I imagine it will change anything for the other rural service providers.  BEVCOMM and other rural providers have always followed the principal of network neutrality and, as far as I know they, are all planning on continuing to follow the principals of network neutrality.

BEVCOMM doesn’t block internet traffic.  BEVCOMM doesn’t enter into contracts giving one company’s content priority over another company’s content.  BEVCOMM isn’t unique. We are just like the other rural ISPs.  Our focus is on providing the best customer service possible.

This entry was posted in FCC, MN, Policy, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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