Net Neutrality – Oh Here We Go Again – FCC Please Keep Fighting!!

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.”

net neutrality image

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.

Take Action

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.

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Blog Posts

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Website Analytics Posted on August 04th, 2010

I put together a list of the top 5 reasons why you should be using website analytics to hopefully shed some light on why analytics are so important.

  1. You can’t measure what you don’t know.
  2. Track traffic sources that bring visitors to your website.
  3. Track what search engines and keywords are driving traffic to your site.
  4. Track what content is being viewed.
  5. Track sales funnels and conversions.

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Net neutrality: New Talks With the FCC, Google and Verizon Posted on August 05th, 2010

Net neutrality is very controversial pitting broadband providers against internet companies. The providers claim they are paying billions of dollars for networks that internet companies make money from and they should be able to control and charge fees for the type of data that travels over their networks.

What do you think? Should broadband providers be allowed to regulate traffic?
Or should net neutrality prevail?

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Net neutrality: New Talks With the FCC, Google and Verizon

hares fighting obout net neutrality Net neutrality is very controversial pitting broadband providers against internet companies. The providers claim they are paying billions of dollars for networks that internet companies make money from and they should be able to control and charge fees for the type of data that travels over their networks.

I strongly believe in net neutrality. It is what the internet was build on and it should be looked at like a utility. The electric company doesn’t charge you more if you want to plug in a machine they didn’t make. The water company doesn’t charge you a different price depending on what you do with the water. The phone company doesn’t charge you various prices based on the language or words you use when you talk on the phone. You pay for their service/connection.

What do you think? Should broadband providers be allowed to regulate traffic?
Or should net neutrality prevail?

Read more about Net Neutrality: Source: Google, Verizon near net neutrality plan

Cable and Phone Companies Crying Like Babies.. Again

Just read an article put out by the associated press. “Summary Box: Broadband funds draw complaints

“THE COMPLAINTS: Some phone and cable companies complain that the money is sometimes being used to fund networks that will compete with services they already offer.”

So, the phone and cable companies complain that other company’s are using their networks to make money and they should be allowed to filter this traffic the way they see fit. Their argument is that they are building expensive networks and others are making money on their networks while they alone carry the burden of building and supporting the networks. But, really, this is a way they can filter out and kill their competition. Then they receive money from the government to support their “expensive networks”, but that’s not enough. Now they are whining that the money is creating competition for them. This just has the stink of monopoly all over it. Especially since many of the companies have regional monopolies or near monopolies.

Related articles:
Comcast vs. Net Neutrality: Why is Comcast So Scared?
Net Neutrality Takes a Blow
Net Neutrality — A Letter to US Senator Arlen Specter

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.