CMLS Joins Net Neutrality Coalition In Support Of Real Estate Industry
Monday, August 14, 2017
CHICAGO — The Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), which represents 200 MLSs with a combined membership of over 1.2 million real estate professionals, has joined the Net Neutrality Coalition. The group advocates for the preservation of net neutrality.
Led by technology companies such as Amazon, Ebay, Facebook, Google, and recently joined by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the coalition supports net neutrality that requires broadband networks to remain free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms. Specifically, net neutrality does not allow networks to restrict equipment attached to them, the modes of communication allowed on them, or the ability to favor some communication stream or data packs over others.
“The open Internet has fostered unprecedented innovation and free flow of information in real time,” said Lauren Hansen, president of CMLS and CEO of IRES, an MLS serving Northern Colorado. “It has become a vital component of how the real estate market works and changing it could negatively impact the ability of multiple listing services to support their members and ability of real estate professionals to market listings and services.”
In April 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a final rule implementing open Internet regulations that prohibit the blocking or degrading of lawful content on the Internet by Internet service providers. Even as the rules were finalized, however, several broadband networks challenged the ruling in court in an attempt to block those rules.
Recently, the FCC has considered the removal of the 2015 protection that considers the Internet a public utility. If this happens, some possible outcomes include: limiting public access to real estate websites, limiting a firm’s access to online service providers such as Internet phone services, charging certain websites more for broadband speeds necessary to transmit audio and video content such as online property tours or even data from multiple listing services.
“The FCC is in the midst of a comment period as it re-examines its Title II classification of the Internet that implemented net neutrality in 2015 and Congress is asking for direction from the business sector,” said Denee Evans, CEO of CMLS. “It is obvious that the current net neutrality rules are working and consumers are already paying for free Internet. We need to preserve net neutrality and the CMLS Board of Directors urges MLSs to weigh in on the issue locally by contacting their market’s representatives in Congress.”
CMLS supports net neutrality and urges Congress to oppose legislation that would threaten the current FCC Open Internet Rule and roll back the important protections put in place by the FCC in 2015. It will also work with the coalition in the courts and on Capitol Hill to ensure that the Internet remains an open and level playing field, an issue critical to the success of multiple listing services and the real estate industry.
The Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) is the professional trade organization that serves to advance the MLS industry in North America through unified leadership, collaboration, and education across the real estate industry. It was formed as a premier forum, advocate and resource in 1957 and has since evolved into a volunteer-led organization that is responsible for the advancement of MLS through education, innovation, and the implementation of best practices, industry standards, and next generation solutions in support of MLS providers with over 1.2 million subscribers.