EdSurge has a nice summary of possible scenarios (including a quote from Keith Krueger) affecting higher education, many of which apply to K – 12 and libraries as well.
What has helped me wrap my head around the issue is considering the overall model of Internet delivery and possible outcomes. Our state CIO, Mark Raymond, rightly sees Internet access as akin to water, a necessity for many different aspects of life and where there is generally a limited or single supply based on your geography. The other metaphors (e.g., Internet access as entertainment, akin to cable bundles) remain limited, as they ignore the fundamental services that we all depend on:
· Electronic Government (e.g., paying taxes, DMV, unemployment benefits, etc.)
· Financial Management
· Work and Career Management
Either charging public institutions for a fast lane connection or allowing other, private content providers to consume that fast lane poses a real threat to the above activities.
Getting (finally) to Marie's question, we should consider the likely charges (A) to end users (e.g., a district paying a premium for G Suite access from its ISP) as well as (B) to content providers (that same ISP charging Google for fast delivery to districts). Both types of charges can and likely will take place. Districts nationwide are already working through collaboratives to help control costs, partnering with research and education networks such as ours in Connecticut (Connecticut Education Network). At that "macro" level of aggregated buying there is strength and influence to pressure tier-1 Internet providers to support net neutrality in practice.
We should also look at a common phenomenon since last January, with the dismantling of federal controls and the rise of state oversight. Witness Jerry Brown of California negotiating climate agreements in China the day after the U.S. exited the Paris Agreement. We will see the same activity at the state level, so it behooves us to express our concerns with our legislatures and attorneys general to ensure access to content that supports public institutions and the general citizenry.
Commission for Educational Technology
State of Connecticut
55 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105