The Trump administration entered into an area of hot debate that had been dealt with in the Obama administration. The concept of “Net Neutrality” fostered by the Obama administration is about to be turned 180 degrees by the Trump administration. So what? The Trump administration is advocating changes that would allow carriers like AT&T, Comcast, and Cablevision the ability to build fast lanes on the Internet for those willing to pay. The current policy put in place during the Obama administration sought to treat all Internet traffic as equal. Think of toll lanes that have become popular in many states that allow drivers the ability to pay extra to drive on less congested roadways. The Trump administration is proposing rules that would give carriers the ability to craft service plans giving bandwidth priority to service providers willing to pay for it. Companies like NetFlix and VoIP providers like Vonage may pay the carriers extra for their data to get moved first. This would allow service providers to provide a higher quality of service they can’t now. On the flip side, start-up companies without the extra money would have to rely on the shared Internet which may result in more slow-downs and competitive advantages for existing large companies. There is no easy answer in this debate.
Despite the desires of carriers to move to this model, much of the equipment on the internet is not set up to support the prioritization of traffic. While the IEEE protocols exist, they are not implemented on the Internet and even if they were, every carrier between the source and destination would need to have the priority feature working and activated for a particular form of traffic. It will take years for the carriers to work out interchange agreements supporting traffic prioritization. Though you can expect the regulations to change next year, the services will take years to implement.