In a watershed decision that will have repercussions that impact every corner of digital landscape, the FCC today voted to remove the net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration in 2015.
In a nutshell net neutrality is a principle that internet service provides must treat every piece of data equally. It prevents ISPs from discriminating or charging differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.
Those rules prevented internet providers from blocking and throttling traffic and offering paid fast lanes. They also classified internet providers as Title II common carriers in order to give the measure strong legal backing.
Today's vote does away with all this. And while nothing will happen immediately we believe this is potentially bad for consumers and for those who deliver goods, services and content via the Internet.
With specific regard to online headshops like this one, which sell luxury smoke accessories along with water pipes, hand pipes, vaporizers, grinders, rolling paper and storage items, it raises the possibility that political interests could take precedence over the free and open dissemination of goods and information. Jeff Sessions' views on legal cannabis are well known. Will he pressure the ISPs to throttle anything that has to do at all with cannabis? Will the ISPs charge ridiculous rates to get websites and social media accounts that focus on this particular subculture to load at normal rates.
Cannabis and the sub-industries that fall under it, which includes ancillary delivery devices, have been benefited greatly from the open and free flow of information that the current Internet allows. The cultural identity around cannabis has moved from Spicoli falling out of a van to Dr. Sanjay Gupta espousing the benefits of cannabis for children who suffer from seizures. And the internet has fostered this.
We will continue to watch this important issue but it is important for our customers to know that we will continue to bring you the best products and the information in our industry.