Internet Access More Important than Laundry Facilities for Apartment Dwellers in U.S.

Irshad Salim, BE2C2 Report — The FCC chairman is expected to unveil new strategy to reverse net neutrality in the U.S., according to sources reported Reuters.

Ajit Pai, who was named chair of the FCC by President Donald Trump in January, will deliver a speech titled “The Future of Internet Regulation” on Wednesday in Washington, the FCC said.

He is expected to announce that he will begin the process of taking public comments to repeal the “net neutrality” rules approved by the FCC under President Barack Obama in early 2015.

The rules approved by the FCC in 2015 prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet, essentially a “fast lane,” to certain internet services over others. The 2015 FCC rules reclassified internet service providers much like utilities. A federal appeals court upheld the rules last year.

Internet providers like AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp have argued that net neutrality rules make it harder to manage internet traffic and investment in additional capacity less likely.

Advocacy group Free Press Chief Executive Craig Aaron said Monday Pai wants to hand over control of the internet to providers “no matter the cost to our economy and democracy.”

Internet Access More Important than Laundry Facilities for Apartment Dwellers in U.S.

In a sign of just how important internet access is in the U.S., a new survey shows rental apartment hunters are more concerned with high-speed internet and wi-fi than they are with in-home laundry facilities. Renting apartments and condos has been increasing specially among the tech-savvy millennials.

The survey commissioned by cable television and internet provider Comcast, found 34 percent of the 205 building managers, building owners and real estate developers of multifamily properties surveyed ranked wi-fi as the most important amenity. After that, 25 percent said high-speed internet was, while a mere 13 percent said in-room laundry facilities.

Furthermore, the survey found that 87 percent of those asked said technology “plays either an extremely or very important role” in renter satisfaction.

The importance of technology varied by age, with 88 percent saying younger tenants “millennials” — aged 18 to 34, found technological amenities more important than among those 52 and up.

The survey conducted by researcher firm Precision Sample and given online between December 7-10, 2016 showed thirty percent of those surveyed said high quality internet service increased property values by 20 percent. Another 89 percent said technology was an “important factor” in a renter’s choice to sign or renew a lease.

Meanwhile, according to reports, the Internet Association, a group representing Facebook Inc, Inc, Alphabet Inc and others, met with Pai this month and said “the internet industry is uniform in its belief that net neutrality preserves the consumer experience, competition, and innovation online,” according to a letter filed with the FCC.

Pai, an Indian-American lawyer by profession who opposed the net neutrality reclassification in 2015, has repeatedly said he backs a “free and open internet” but under a different regulatory scheme.

Websites worry that without the rules they might lose access to customers. That includes the tech-savvy millennials who prefer renting apartments and condos as well as high speed internet access rather than laundry facilities.

Comcast provides services to 189,000 properties and 14.7 million units in the United States.

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