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January 16, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

The decision by a federal court on Tuesday to strike down the FCC’s net neutrality rules has sparked considerable debate among industry executives — particularly those requiring extensive bandwidth for video services — over the possibility that ISPs may now feel free to charge a premium for heavy users. But BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield makes the case that it all amounts to “Chicken Little” fears and are “far, far overblown.” In theory, he notes, it would be possible for ISPs to create fast lanes and slow lanes for services using their systems. But to do so, he noted, would hurt its own customers and discourage them from subscribing to faster broadband speed tiers in order to receive the highest quality for Netflix, YouTube and other video services. Such discrimination, Greenfield also argued, would lead to demands that the Internet be classified under Title II of the Communications Act. “The last thing that ISPs want is government regulation. The result would be worse for ISP’s than the court upholding the FCC’s original Open Internet Order,” Greenfield wrote. It would also encourage Google to speed up the roll-out of its fiber service, he noted. In conclusion, he wrote, “We believe the FCC and Congress should resist the temptation to regulate without clear signs of abuse, which we currently do not see or anticipate.”