Net Neutrality Takes a Blow

I just read an article about FCC’s battle for net neutrality. FCC loses key ruling on Internet `neutrality’
After reading the article, I’m again frustrated that so many people (apparently including some judges) don’t understand the severity of the issue.

Tuesday’s unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel was a setback for the FCC because it questioned the agency’s authority to regulate broadband. That could cause problems beyond the FCC’s effort to adopt official net neutrality regulations.

It baffles me that they don’t understand that the FCC is pushing an open system. The large ISPs are only looking out for themselves and instead of innovating they are trying to block other companies that have proven to be more innovative then they are. It’s like the kid on the playground that doesn’t get his way and says “I’m taking my ball and going home, so no one else can play.”

I’ve written about this a number of times. Below is my comment on the recent article. Plus check out these links for other posts on the subject:
Comcast vs. Net Neutrality: Why is Comcast So Scared?
Net Neutrality: A Letter to US Senator Arlen Specter

Comment:

It’s amazing to me to see how many people don’t understand what Net neutrality really is about. Comcast, Verizon and other ISPs want to be allowed to decide what types of data can travel over their networks. That’s would be like Ford saying well we helped build this road so we are only going to allow Fords to travel on it. Or the electric company saying you’re using our wires to power products that were built by some company we don’t like. Sorry you electric might work today.. maybe not though. Or the water company saying you’re using a Brita filter. Ok, then your water pressure is going to be a trickle. I could on, but what it really does is allows the ISPs to crush their competition. Let’s look at VOIP (voice over internet protocal) services or internet phones as an example. Where I am, I basically have two choices. Comcast or Verizon. Both companies offer VOIP. So if they were allowed to decide the speed and what data is allowed to travel across their networks they could crush companies like Vonage, or even Skype. Giving them an unfair advantage because they “own the pipes” Do you remember what phone prices were before Vonage and Skype? One of their biggest complaints is Google. First of all do you think Google is running off a dial up or pirated internet connection. You better believe they are paying to get into the network. Furthermore, look at all the free stuff they give away, and does anyone at Comcast. Or maybe they want to slow down Google’s data because they a deal with Yahoo for their search.

Bottom line allowing the ISPs to filter data on their networks is bad for everyone. Wake up people. The FCC is trying to help consumers. Stand up and let them know that you don’t want to be told what you can and can’t access online. The link below is to a letter I sent to my state senator Arlen Specter. After seeing this ruling I’m planning on sending it again. Here’s a quote from my letter:

“I commend the FCC for taking a stand with Comcast. Comcast is a huge business that in most areas operates almost as a monopoly, yet they continue to cry that their infrastructure is being unfairly used. They claim that companies and people are getting a free ride on their pipeline. I always get a kick out of how they try to justify the policy of slowing down different types of traffic just because that type is popular. One example is Google. They talked about implementing a way to slow traffic to companies such as Google and then charging them a higher fee so that the traffic will run at normal speeds. That sounds like a form of racketeering, which is not unlike what the mob does when they force people to pay for protection. ‘Protection from what?’, you ask. In actuality the money being paid is to protect the victims from the mob itself. “

Comcast vs. Net Neutrality: Why is Comcast So Scared?

Regional monopoly, continued increase in earnings, plus Bailout money from not enough for Comcast. I just read an article about how Comcast is continuing to fight the FCC on net neutrality and every time I hear about this it bugs me. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

In hearing a legal dispute between the agency and Comcast Corp., a three-judge federal appeals court panel questioned the commission’s authority to impose so-called “net neutrality” obligations on the nation’s largest cable TV and Internet operator. Those rules are intended to prevent broadband providers from abusing their control over the market for high-speed Internet access.

(full article:Comcast, FCC take net neutrality dispute to court)

In my opinion Comcast as well as other broadband providers have a very weak argument that they are “pouring billions of dollars into their networks, and they should be able to offer premium services to differentiate themselves from competitors and earn a healthy return on their investments.” In the example of Comcast, in many places they have a monopoly on cable TV and they continue to see increases in earnings as well. Plus, they also received bailout money from the government!

The real issue here is they are scared and unable to adapt to new technologies and companies that are taking their business. Their business model is being threatened and maybe it’s a lack of creativity, but they are trying to use their clout and dollars to force the government to let them run wild. If they are allowed to filter traffic as they please they can cut off any business that operates over the internet. A couple of major markets that they could cripple is legal online video streaming and VOIP.

You can see Comcast’s earning reports on their site: Earnings and Investor News

An example of the real threat to cable TV. I recently canceled my cable TV because I can watch everything I want to watch online through such legal portals as Hulu.com.

Back in August 2008, I sent a letter to PA Senator Arlen Specter about the importance of Net Neutrality: Net Neutrality — A Letter to US Senator Arlen Specter. Please, reach out to your senators and reps in congress and tell them that you don’t want your broadband provider to tell you what you can and can’t do online! Also check out the site www.savetheinternet.com to find out how you can help.