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Dec 14

Net Neutrality Gutted And Why

Arguably one of the hardest aspects of regulatory control of 2017 is and has been Net Neutrality. The often misunderstood regulation that in some ways was meant to protect current internet users from price hikes and data preferences as those potentially costly data types like movies have been up until now been considered data with no bias. What this means is that an ISP like Comcast could now charge more for faster streaming of some types of data, websites may have to pay more to be fast enough to get the same speeds as sites like Amazon, Verizon could offer those few measly Gb of data per month at 56 Mb per second, etc with nothing preventing such unsavory practices except for their competitors.

Why This Happened

As companies who stand to gain billions all acted innocently like they support net neutrality quietly waited and watched the FCC regulatory documents consisting of 323 pages of unread regulatory powers were hung like a sword of Damocles threatening to empower the FCC with unknowable and potentially overreaching powers based on representations of the internet that were largely inaccurate. The FCC has been surprisingly strict in it's regulations of other mediums so there was understandable cause for concern at regulatory powers that were to remain sealed until after the vote.

Now What To Expect

After some grace period there will be suddenly a need to change some service terms, between telecoms, cable companies, mobile carriers, and possibly even other service providers if companies like Google step into the ISP world with products like Google Fiber. It won't happen immediately, but it will happen under the guise of beneficial new lower priced internet tiers that offer something tangibly good for users about 6 months before offering something much better for businesses that fit the right model. A company like Netflix will suddenly face higher charges, which will trickle down to price hikes for users leaving ISP's and Mobile carriers looking blameless.

What Can You Do About It 

The instant you see a price hike, inquire as to the cause through whatever contact info is available and report it through social media. Discuss openly who is price hiking and organize the reaction to shame and blame whomever tries to jack the prices based on data types and be ready to quit services that feign indifference. If money is going to be the thing that drives the internet's performance, drive it into obscurity until they get the message and draft a new fair regulatory bill with no overreach (because we don't want the FCC micromanaging the internet into stupidity either) and once all of that is set to protect users, even from spying governments, then and only then should we resume normal internet based services usage.  Don't bother paying into things like campaigns, those are just people ripping off angry users.

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