Keeping Our Part of the ‘Net’ Neutral

It’s very rare that telecommunications policy grabs headlines, dominates social media feeds, and leads the news broadcasts. But that’s exactly what we saw after the FCC’s decision on net neutrality.

It’s encouraging to see people around the country take stock, realize how important their broadband service is to their daily lives, and take action to protect it. Concerns over net neutrality have caused some of our members to email, call or message us on social media. I’m proud that our members are tuned in to the issues and willing to communicate with us about the future of their service. The term “net neutrality” refers to policy that would prevent internet providers from interfering with selective forms of internet traffic through blocking or slowing down certain services or websites.

There’s a lot of conflicting information about how the regulations and the FCC changes to the rules will a affect broadband, but I wanted to set the record straight for HCTC customers. Our No. 1 concern has been and will always be delivering to you the best online experience possible. We do not throttle, prioritize or block any legal internet traffic and have no plans to do so in the future. Essentially, we are keeping our members’ connections net neutral.

I understand that many people have concerns about this ruling, but please know that HCTC has no intention of making changes to our service based on the FCC’s decision.

I can’t speak for what other corporate telecommunications providers may do, but we have been net neutral and will stay that way because it’s the right thing to do for our members.

The only thing the FCC’s decision will change for us will be reducing the amount of regulatory paperwork we have to keep. Representatives from NTCA– The Rural Broadband Association — which represents 850 small, rural, community-based member companies like ours — testified to this before congressional committees.

For small telcos like ours, the so-called net neutrality rules implemented in 2015 required extensive reporting that took time and effort from our team. That’s time and effort we’d rather

spend on growing and improving our network and customer service features.

NTCA Senior Vice President Michael Romano told Congress the 2015 rule’s “heavy-handed

regulatory burdens can be distracting at best or devastating at worst.”

In summary, some experts would have us believe that the removal of net neutrality rules is a

threat to the internet as we know it. But here at HCTC, we’re going to keep your internet service open and free as you enjoy it today — and will work hard to make it even better tomorrow.

OUR PLEDGE: HCTC does not throttle, prioritize or block any legal internet traffic, and we have no plans to do so in the future.