The Open Internet debate was simple.
Internet access is like a public utility. This is what is called: Net Neutrality.
From the consumer viewpoint:
Local electric utilities are tied to how much energy we use and current price per kilowatt hour.
The electric company does not know or control, the types of light bulbs, oven or hair dryer you power using the electricity they sell you.
The economic arrangement is that you give them money and they give you electricity.
The same contract (or similar) is made for companies. Like the individual consumer, they give them money and revive electricity at the same speed and reliability.
Telephone companies, likewise, supply everyone the same hardwire service regardless of location.
The web has always worked that way too, it is a service… everyone has access to the same sites. You pay for the service and visit where you chose.
This is what the prior Obama administration, along with internet companies supported as being the best alternative.
The reason is that the internet is fundamental to businesses and economy. It is used by virtually everyone all the time… like electricity.
Internet access is like cable television service. Adhering to this concept is what is called being: Against Net Neutrality.
Your cable provider offers you a menu of packages to choose from.
Negotiations are premade with network channels and different business arrangements are made with each of them.
This you are oblivious too, you only consider your own package price.
Cable companies have wide latitude, pricing offerings at whatever the market will bear while offering mixes of channels as they decide.
One of the downsides, as consumers know, is ending up paying a few hundred dollars a month for cable service.
Secondly, if internet service is provided like a cable bundle… service providers would restrict access to some sites, choosing winners and losers in the online marketplace, not only restricting and controlling the flow of the economy… but also of ideas and information.
The cable companies are the major proponents for this idea.
They say one upside is that major companies like Hulu and Amazon would have to pay huge amounts for bandwidth they use.
All companies, they say, should pay to publish online content depending on content, website, platform, method of communications, attached apps etc.
What sparked this debate?
Cable companies got tired of providing service for bandwidth hogs like Netflix. That meant for them, more servers dedicated to Netflix, more employees to manage and maintain the servers and more electricity to run these servers.
Meanwhile, Netflix streaming began running slower and slower.
Finally, Netflix reached a deal with Comcast, agreeing to pay for a direct connection between its servers and Comcast’s, bypassing the interconnect companies. Netflix speeds went up again. Not that Netflix is happy though, according to Business Insider, the CEO of Netflix is hopping mad.
AT&T has come to Comcast’s defense though, stating, “…there is no free lunch, and there’s also no cost-free delivery of streaming movies. Someone has to pay that cost.”
Who decided Net Neutrality?
Ultimately the decision was never up to us, the consumers, the cable industry or even the internet service providers … it was the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alone.
From Fortune Magazine: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Tuesday that it plans to dismantle net neutrality regulations on internet providers
- The new “baseline” service for companies may end up a bit like the old dial up. Winners will be those who pay to win. Even if you don’t host a website, you could see the effects in lagging loading times of sites you visit that are not paying the higher package cost for bandwidth.
- New net neutrality rules will most likely end up costing consumers more to binge on Netflix and Hulu, or play video games, send messages on social media, etc., as companies higher fees will likely be absorbed by consumers.
- Also, consumers able to pay for price hikes for internet company packages, will enjoy higher speed and more content, but lower income consumers will have a limited view of what was once an open web.
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