Welcome to digital deceit, cyber-subterfuge: The end of net neutrality
How would you feel if the telephone company wouldn’t let you call your mom?
Not your mother in law; your mom.
Or if the phone company made you pay extra to call your mom. Or told you that you couldn’t call your mom unless she became a customer. Or said that if you called your mom, you’d have to call Aunt Millie, too. Or made the line buzz every time you called her.
That may be what it’s going to be like on the internet, with net neutrality repealed.
The reason why phone companies can’t do any of the things above is that they are “common carriers,” and common carriers are not allowed to discriminate among callers (or “callees”). You can call anyone you want, and anyone can call you, period, as long as the caller pays for the call. That’s the law.
“Net neutrality” applied that same rule to the internet. When net neutrality was in effect, you could browse any website, anywhere in the world, on the same terms. That was the law.
In 2014, the Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) instituted net neutrality. (In 2010, I said that I favored a statute, or even a constitutional amendment, to protect net neutrality.)
Under net neutrality, your internet service providers (ISP) could charge you for delivering the internet to you, but it could not charge extra for Facebook or Youtube or any other content provider. Nor could it charge that content provider, nor could it block or slow any content provider.
The Trump administration’s FCC repealed net neutrality last week. This will allow ISPs to discriminate among websites, by preventing you from accessing websites, or charging you (or the website) extra for whatever sites it wants, or slowing down your connection to certain sites.
Think of it this way:
The World-Wide-Whitewash or
The Information Highway Giveaway
Well you’re thinking, “if my ISP does that, I’ll just choose a different ISP.”
But you can’t.
The cable TV companies have a chokehold on “fast internet” service (faster than 25 Mbps downloads) in the U.S. Satellite and phone internet, their competitors, are nowhere near as fast. And virtually all of us have only one cable tv provider. It’s a legal monopoly.
To make matters worse, just two companies, Comcast and Charter, own around 70 percent of those cable TV lines. Even if that weren’t true, though, only one of them would have your house wired, and that’s what matters to you.
Google made $79 billion in advertising revenue last year. Comcast has 23 million internet subscribers. With net neutrality dead, this it would be child’s play for Comcast to block Google, substitute its own Google-like service (called “Coogle”?), and steal all the advertising revenue. Same thing for Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Reddit, Amazon, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Netflix, eBay, and the Huffington Post.
And once people “cut the cord,” giving up cable or satellite TV in favor of the internet, then without net neutrality to protect you, your ISP will be able to determine what news you hear. Fox News could pay Comcast to be the only source of news on the internet for 23 million families. The new Fox News motto will be this “Fox News: if you don’t like us, then turn off the internet.”
Or MSNBC. You get the idea.
Think it couldn’t happen? Well, last year, Comcast didn’t like the deal it had to transmit Yankees games on its cable system, so it just took the Yankees off the air in New York and New Jersey. For a year.
In fact, net neutrality was instituted because a phony company tried to block an internet company from transmitting phone calls. So, of course they will try to do it again.
Now that the Trump administration has had it’s way, Internet R.I.P.
Read the article here http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-fcc-breaks-internet-20171218-story.html and if you’d like to see someone in Congress fighting to reenact Net Neutrality, donate to our campaign>>