New FCC rules on Net Neutrality in the US could have a direct effect on European web visitors if it they are implemented, creating a hidden tax on web traffic as paid prioritization increases costs for content providers.
Web streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant provide customers in the US and Europe with films over the web, but in order for us to be able to watch them, we depend on the Amazon Cloud network to deliver the data to our homes to watch those films.
If the FCC were to implement a ruling that would make it more expensive for streaming services, that cost could be felt outside of the US as companies look for ways to off-set decreases in profit margins and increased overheads.
Many leading tech companies and Hollywood groups oppose new Net Neutrality rules being considered that could create a two-speed internet but so far Europe hasn’t caught on to what it implies.
In fact, if any nation decides to regulate the speed of the internet in this way, it will have a direct effect on the rest of the world given that the internet is a global economy within itself, without borders.
The FCC’s implementation of this rule could be in breach of European laws governing the internet, and companies operating in the US that provide services to customers in Europe could face legal issues if EU citizens are paying more as a result.
Given that the EU Parliament wants to treat all internet traffic equally, the FCC’s new rulings could result in countries setting up internet taxes on American companies.