retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

Democratic New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday became the second US governor to sign an executive order challenging the net neutrality repeal recently imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

As in the case of Montana’s Gov. Steve Bullock, also a Democrat, Cuomo’s order requires “state officials to purchase Internet service only from broadband companies that abide by the principles of net neutrality,” according to the Washington Post story, which adds, “Although New York was not the first to adopt such procurement rules, Cuomo's decision is significant because the state is among the country's most populous. As a huge consumer of Internet service, the state government could compel broadband providers who do business with New York to abide by net neutrality, even if federal regulations do not require it. That could indirectly provide net neutrality protections to average New Yorkers.”

Net neutrality is essentially defined as a policy requiting all internet providers to treat all websites equally, regardless of size. The Trump-era FCC is rolling back that requirement, saying that those rules reflected the ”heavy hand” of government excess that only served to inhibit innovation and research at telecom and cable companies. Those who object to this move argue that it will mean that companies with deep pockets will be able to pay for faster access to consumers, which is not in the public interest.

The lines between the two sides of the issue has been fairly specific, with content companies like Amazon and Google favoring net neutrality, and service provider companies like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner lobbying for deregulation.
KC's View:
As I said the other day when commenting about the Montana decision, I am in favor of net neutrality and applaud the states’ challenges to the FCC. I think most retailers should be concerned about cable companies and providers being able to control internet speed.