FCC Battle Could Change the Internet As We Know It

net neutralityYou have probably heard the discussions surrounding the end of Net Neutrality and the Internet as we know it.

What is Net Neutrality? Net Neutrality, according to Wikipedia, is defined as “the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.”

This allows all users on the Internet the ability to find and search for all content that they wish (as long as it’s legal).

So, what does the proposed end of Net Neutrality mean?
Internet Service Providers are arguing that in order for them to grow and expand access to the Internet, they should be able to charge more to certain content providers. Particularly ones that are a heavy burden on their networks, i.e. Netflix, Hulu, etc. This means that there would be a fast lane, slow lane and maybe even a no lane. If a site wants their content to get to users, it would have to be in the fast lane, meaning they would have to pay extra for it to get into the fast lane, or risk it being filtered out in the slow lane, or even the no lane.

Consider how ridiculous it would be if other markets operated the way the FCC is proposing. Take water for instance, you pay the water company a certain amount of money for water. Once you pay and it’s in your house, you can do with it what you wish. The water company doesn’t get to decide that instead of building more water processing plants, it will lowers the water pressure in your house, and then makes you pay for an upgraded service to get full water pressure.

Would that make any sense? Water don’t work this way, and neither should the Internet.

This type of censorship by ISPs wouldn’t help them expand access to the Internet, it would greatly reduce it. In reality, the ISP’s will just gain the power to favor certain content and limit other content. This means that even though they will be building bigger and better infrastructure for the Internet, only some sites will benefit from it. An Internet that treats data equally is what we need always and forever.

Want it broken down in a very easy way to understand? Check out this video…

At No-IP, we have always been a strong advocate for an open and free Internet. We feel that putting an end to Net Neutrality would hurt consumers and Internet innovation. We are against the End of Net Neutrality.

What can you do to help the fight?

1. Sign this White House Petition before May 15th to make it clear that you will not accept Fast Lanes, Slow Lanes and No lanes.

2. Watch the FCC’s proposed rules that will be aired to the public on May 15th to see if they will consider the “reclassification”.  Reclassification of ISPs as “telecommunications services,” would be one way to preserve the open internet that we have all loved and enjoyed for the last 20 years. Without reclassification, the FCC can no longer protect the us against the ISPs who seek to restructure and ruin the Internet that we have grown to love.

You can also check out this very interesting post about allowing the Internet to “demo” the slow lane to see what it would really be like.

  1. Mike Beaulieu

    This is just a step to the next censorship law. Where does it stop once a precedent is created?

  2. george K.

    What happened to fair competition and level playing field?

    When a certain segment of people, in any field, and in this case ISP’s, have too much control they will have an unfair advantage over others and in this case content providers and users equally.

    ISP’s already have enough control and some think the have too much control, they control band width capacity, speed, and volume. They charge based on all the above and their pricing is fair to overpriced market value.

    The fact is whatever ISP’s endeavors they may seek, it is driven and motivated by no other purpose but greed and control, and worse, in doing so passing the buck onto the consumer


    George K.

  3. carl

    Basically to use your water analogy very heavy water users should pay more pro rata as they need bigger pipes and heavier pumps to be installed. Essentially the internet was born in the years of plenty before the baby boomers kids burned the ozone layer the fossil fuels and the financial markets…. Internet 2 will be pay to use. Just like everything else like banks, universities and cars

  4. I am against net censorship (though like ‘Though Shalt Not Kill’, there are always good grounds for exceptions to this: terrorism, child pornography, libel, etc.) However I am not against variable pricing. Your analogy with water is misleading. Rarely does any one house’s use of water impact water pressure for neighbors significantly (and when it does, it’s a serious problem). Also, people are not consuming exponentially larger volumes of water as technology progresses.

    A better analogy is tollways and freeways: you can get from any one place to another along public toll-free roads, but a shorter or quicker route may be available that involves paying a toll. That may be unpopular, but people have to pay for the infrastructure: either everyone pays through taxes, or those who value the convenience pay tolls.

    It is perfectly reasonable that, if I want to stream a large amount of 4K hi-def video, I should pay more for the infrastructure required to deliver that, than someone who simply wants to email and surf the Net occasionally. The alternative (the Net Neutrality position) is that low volume users should subsidize the high volume users. That may have been acceptable and workable when usage differentials were relatively small, but when one user consumes a thousand or a million times as much data as another person, cross-subsidy looks distinctly unjust.

    Let’s be clear: freedom of speech and free access to information should be protected and enshrined in every country’s law. That means requiring that certain classes of Internet traffic must be carried by any Internet ISP/carrier up to a certain volume. In other words, an ISP/carrier would not be permitted to build a pure premium-priced ‘fast lane’ network and plug it into the Internet: in other words, connecting to the Internet comes with inescapable social responsibilities.

    What needs thrashing out in preparing the legislation are procedures that an ISP/carrier must follow where a customer is exceeding their ‘free allowance’. As long as that is transparent and fair, then we should all be happy. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc customers can stream 4K movies to their hearts’ content – and pay a realistic price for the privilege, rather than freeload off their neighbors.

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