Mobile internet access — which BI India reports is now considered a telecom service, and therefore subject to the FCC in the U.S. — falls under the purview of net neutrality just as thoroughly as fixed-location internet access. Net neutrality is a political buzzword for the principle that internet access should be equal, or neutral, and access quality should not be dependent on favor for certain clients, websites, or providers. To achieve this, the FCC and other regulators are working to establish laws, regulations, and rules to enforce the neutrality of internet access.
This means that the ways banking consumers access and use internet access, not to mention how that will impact banking processes, are subject to a series of changes that are difficult to predict without effective business intelligence. According to Bankers Guru, net neutrality help sustain the competitive environment of the internet, because it maintains a level playing field between big players, smaller operations, and startups.
From a banking point of view, this implies two specific changes. First, the bank’s access and internet usage is going to be affected by net neutrality rules. For example, BI India reports, The FCC intends “to ensure fair and unfettered access to the internet,” which means big banks will no longer be able to pay for priority access. Banks will no longer be able to gain “unfair” competitive advantage by offering superior service because they can afford to pay for “preferred site” classification. While the details are still being determined, this may also mean more regulatory hoops to jump through when designing and optimising a website.
Second, the customer’s access and internet usage is going to be affected, because telecom companies claim “greater government regulation will force them to suspend network and infrastructure investments.” As current infrastructure grows increasingly inadequate to meet demand, it’s possible that compromises will be made between the quality of internet access available to users and the amount of data available to be gathered for business intelligence purposes. Without the rich user data currently made available during internet exchanges, banks may have a harder time predicting and satisfying the needs of their customers.
Congressional consideration of net neutrality further complicates the issues at play, because additional decisions, changes, and impacts are likely. While these issues apply particularly to U.S. users, other countries are watching and they’re considering their own changes. Access to and the usage of business intelligence will be impacted by these events.