Today, the Wall Street Journal reported on the U.S. Appeals Court’s decision to overthrow the FCC’s ruling on internet equality. This decision has long lasting and unforeseen impact on school’s and other public entitys’ online training programs. The ruling allows internet service providers (ISP’s) to charge higher rates to those companies that have higher bandwidth usage – mainly those sites that provide video content, such as Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube and the like. This ruling also allows ISP’s to create tiers for internet delivery based on speed. Conceivably allowing those companies that are able to pay the price continue to deliver their content at higher speeds and those that can’t pay, well, slower and slower is what you get.
I am not one to make predictions, but in this case, I think the writing is already on the wall. Online training programs specializing in public entities are going to feel the pressure of this ruling. These programs typically don’t have the user base that say a Netflix has. But they do have a large number of employees that utilize the training creating higher bandwidth usage and that means bigger costs or slower internet speeds.
What can public agencies do?
The first step is to assess your online training program. Are the online training programs effective – do they reduce losses, do they deliver content quickly and directly? Dump the training components you don’t need.
Next, are the files being delivered compressed? Are the video formats small in size?
Start Questioning Mandatory Hours
One thing that I disagree with is California’s Legislature and its requirement to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors. The two hour requirement was ill conceived and is an arbitrary number. They took a training that can be delivered in 45 minutes to 1 hour and added fluff, break time and plenty of other fillers. Public agencies should ask their legislators to reconsider the required hours and base their requirements on effective content.