But Silicon Valley in the past, particularly investors and entrepreneurs, say tiered services will hamper innovation by making it more expensive for innovators to try out new technologies. Small scale experimentation of new concepts could become more expensive and therefore less likely to come about. The overall effect would be a dilution of fresh technologies.
Startups that are effective incubators for larger tech companies to buy up later could be fewer and offer less compelling solutions.
Another aspect of Net neutrality that could affect tech companies in the long-term is the power the FCC gave itself to push for expanding internet access into underserved markets such as rural areas and poorer communities. That could lessen the availability of educational benefits the internet affords these groups, and so affect the pool of skilled workers graduating from U.S. schools.
Silicon Valley needs to get a bead on what Trump’s thoughts are on Net neutrality so it can prep for the economic impacts its repeal could have.
Will he favor letting ISPs share or sell customer data?
An FCC ruling this fall blocks ISPs from gathering and selling data about their customers’ browsing history and use of applications. Both are valuable for marketers and represent a profit stream for providers but a privacy hole for consumers.
Trump has announced appointments to key government positions that indicate he opposes these protections.
Reversing them would directly affect service providers by opening up a revenue stream but at the expense of consumer privacy.
Trump’s stance on this could tip his hand on privacy in general, which has broad implications for individuals but also for businesses and other organizations and how they conduct their activities.
Silicon Valley execs should care because among them are entities that stand to gain or lose from a regulatory shift, but also because it will help paint a picture of the regulatory environment in which they will have to operate during the Trump administration.
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