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Agents not spared from effects of net neutrality repeal

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The Federal Communications Commission vote on Thursday to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules will have enormous consequences for the real estate industry, the National Association of Realtors said in reaction to the hotly contested move.

Real estate agents and companies that have a large internet presence and serve clients through the internet will see their reach drastically narrowed, the NAR said in reaction to the FCC vote.

“The last thing small businesses need today is additional costs and competitive disadvantages that put them on the defensive,” NAR president Elizabeth Mendenhall said in a statement. “This isn’t just an issue for Silicon Valley or large telecommunications shops. This is a Main Street concern that affects businesses and consumers across the country. We intend to make our voice heard on this important issue.”

Net neutrality, which is supported by 83 percent of the U.S. population, barred internet service providers from blocking, throttling or discriminating against any internet traffic, meaning users could just as easily see content from a mom-and-pop shop down the street as from a multi-national corporation. The repeal means that ISPs could now restrict content consumers can view and virtually enact pay-to-play policies where large corporations that pony up more money will overshadow smaller parties.

NAR also spoke out against the repeal of net neutrality in July, saying it would raise costs for owners who conduct business online, as many agents do with virtual home tours, social media marketing and online advertising.

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