It’s been a long time since I wrote about this, and it’s unfortunate that I have to once again.
Today (Tuesday, January 14, 2014), a U.S. appeals court rejected federal rules that stated that Internet providers treat all web traffic equally. This once again raises the threat of broadband and mobile carriers charging content providers and internet companies for faster access to their websites and services.
“The Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rules, also known as net neutrality rules, required Internet service providers to give consumers equal access to all lawful content without restrictions or varying charges.”
If this isn’t appealed the providers will control the internet. They will have the ability tell us what sites we can visit and can’t visit. They will be able to force companies to pay an extra cost compared to the traffic they have to their sites on top of the monthly fee they already pay to be connected to the internet, which by the way is already based on how much traffic they use.
Let’s look at the scenario:
Currently internet providers:
- Charge companies for an internet connection in which the fee is based on the amount of bandwidth
- Charger consumers to access the internet and in turn to access companies that are being charged to be connected to the internet. Their fee is also based on the bandwidth
Without net neutrality internet providers could gouge companies and charge companies with popular more just because they are popular.
Internet providers like Verizon, Comcast, AT&T and others like to complain that they are being used unfairly because internet companies who are making money by using their services, so they should have the right to charge successful companies more money.
First, how is that unfair? You provide a service companies pay for it. It’s called trade.
Second, this would be equivalent to the electric companies saying, “Oh, you have a toaster from KitchenAid? They haven’t made a deal with us, so if you plug that in, we’re going to block the power to the toaster so it won’t work.”
Or the water company saying, “A roommate moved in with you? We’re going to have to charge you extra now. Never mind that you’ll be paying more because there will be two people using water and we charge for the amount you use.”
You see the pattern here?
Internet providers like Comcast, who already has a monopoly in many areas, have even more at stake. They are scared to death of companies like NetFlix because more people are cutting the Cable TV cord each day. They want to watch shows when they want to watch them. This takes money out of Comcast’s pockets. So instead of innovate to compete they want to block their competition.
“The largest providers on Tuesday pledged that they would not restrict how customers use the web.”
Do you believe them?
This is the second time that the rules have been struck down in court. The FCC could appeal it again and eventually it could end up in the Supreme Court. There is also another option. They could try to reclassify broadband providers and put them in the same category as traditional phone companies. They have resisted doing this because of strong opposition from Republicans and.. you guessed it.. broadband providers.
This is where we come into play. It’s time again to take action. Call, write, Facebook, tweet, get in contact with your government representatives and let them know that this is unacceptable. Tell them that you want an Open Internet. Taking away Net Neutrality will drastically change the internet and give the power of who succeeds to the Internet providers.
Urge your congress men and women to push the FCC to make the appropriate changes and keep an OPEN INTERNET.
Read the original article about the court ruling.