In January, Tom Wheeler, then chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), left with a warning. Businesses could lose their choice of cloud services and applications, if Trump’s administration rolled back net neutrality rules.
The Open Internet Order was signed under President Obama’s administration, an achievement that would prevent Internet Service Providers (ISP) from choosing applications or cloud networks in terms of access, speed and latency. This would ultimately lead to their control of the cloud in the future. Wheeler stated at the time, “As everything goes into the cloud, the ability to access the cloud free of gatekeepers is essential.”
Will Trump undo the Open Internet Order?
In January 23rd, President Trump named Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC. Pai is a vocal opponent of the open internet laws established under Obama’s administration. So far these policies are still in place. However, President Trump’s latest actions could be bad news for the cloud computing market.
Trans-Pacific Partnership withdrawal could mean “starting from zero” on digital trade policy
Removing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), could directly affect U.S cloud-computing companies seeking the breakdown of digital trade barriers. While cancelling U.S involvement in the TPP was not surprising, it renders the future of digital trade uncertain.
Claude Barfield, a scholar from the American Enterprise Institute says that legal agreements that began to establish a legal foundation for digital trade, were swept away. Which means that Trump’s administration is starting from zero, in regards to digital trade rules.
An uncertain future for cloud companies and net neutrality
So far Trump’s administration has been acting on all the promises made during the campaign. Rejecting the TPP agreement and nominating a vocal opponent of the “open internet” as chair of the FCC, could mean a significant change in policies previously established.
It is an uncertain period for American cloud companies, which have been rising in economic value, and are today, an important part of the economy.