BrokerageNews Brief

New York real estate board supports net neutrality

REBNY resists call for repeal, saying it's 'a foundation for digital innovation across the real estate industry.'

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The influential state trade group the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) today released a notable late-breaking statement in support of “net neutrality,” the policy that says internet service provider companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable (aka Spectrum) can’t charge you different prices just based on the different websites you’re visiting.

As REBNY President John Banks said in an email to Inman and others:

“Net Neutrality provides a foundation for digital innovation across the real estate industry. It sustains an environment where new services can compete. A free and open internet is good for the economy, creates new opportunities for workers, builders, managers and real estate agents. Our newly formed REBNYTech committee supports such innovation, and calls upon Congress to enact legislation that once and for all codifies these concepts into law.”

REBNY’s release comes days after Ajit Pai, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency in charge of internet, TV and phone regulations, said he wanted to roll back net neutrality. Such a rollback would allow internet service providers to “bundle” different websites like Netflix and Google together in new, smaller internet plans and charge more for users to access additional websites or the full internet.

Pai argues the internet thrived without net neutrality, which was not codified into policy until 2015. Technologists and advocates are concerned that the rollback could lead to small web-based businesses getting quashed.

The full five-person FCC is expected to vote on Pai’s proposal in December.

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Email Carl Franzen