In December, the FCC voted to repeal its net neutrality rules, which would essentially give service providers the green light to start charging for differentiated Internet speed access. While efforts to block this are underway in Congress, and states are taking legal actions, healthcare providers have good reason to be concerned.
What’s at Stake
On the flip side, there are couple of potential positives. For one, ISPs have argued that doing away with net neutrality will help them expand and deliver telehealth to a greater number of customers. Another, less-discussed silver lining to a post-net neutrality world is innovation by necessity.
Anytime there are roadblocks with emerging technologies, scientists, engineers and creative thinkers push harder for innovation. We have so many talented information technology leaders working on optimizing the telehealth experience — when push comes to shove, they’d likely seize the opportunity to figure out how to conduct video consultations with dramatically less bandwidth. Consider the 1990s, in the early days of dial-up, how quickly the IT community pushed innovation until the Internet was free of ISPs’ “walled gardens.”
Is it not conceivable we could experience a similar technological revolution with telehealth?
Moving Forward Under New Rules