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Neutrality?

Posted on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Dave!If there were ever any doubts that our American politicians and courts are in the pocket of lobbyists and corporations, you can pretty much shove them aside now that the FCC has struck a blow to net neutrality.

I don't think I'm understating things when I say that the internet... the one true outlet for freedom and equality left in this country... is now totally fucked.

Unless this gets overturned or revised, you are no longer in control of the internet content available to you. Your Internet Service Provider is in control. Which, odds are, is a mega-corporation like Comcast, Time-Warner, Charter, Verizon, Cox, Frontier... and their confederates and owners. This is horrendously bad for many, many reasons, but your government just doesn't give a flying fuck. They're bought and paid for just like everything else in this country...

  • Some small company comes up with something cool and revolutionary... but it competes with Verizon's business model, so all Verizon internet subscribers get that content blocked.
  • You got rid of cable TV so you could watch entertainment via Netflix and Hulu on your Charter internet connection... but Charter decides that's cutting into their revenue stream, so now access to Netflix and Hulu will cost you $20 extra a month.
  • You decide to cancel all your magazine subscriptions because all the stuff you're interested in is more timely... not to mention FREE... on the internet... but Time-Warner decides they should get a piece of the pie, so the only way to get unlimited access to news sites is to subscribe to TIME magazine first.
  • You do all your shopping through Amazon.com... but Comcast would rather you spend money at their new online shopping site, so all orders now have a 5% "carrier fee" added to them unless you shop directly with Comcast.
  • You are frustrated with all the ads junking up the internet... but Cox can get additional revenue from advertising, so now all Cox internet customers have a permanent banner area displayed at the top of their screens when browsing the internet.
  • You use Skype to make phone calls to friends and family abroad... but Frontier no longer allows Skype on their network, you instead have to pay $10 a month plus 10¢ a minute to use their "voice calling" feature.
  • There are websites you require access to for your business... but your ISP decides these sites are "premium sites" so they will be throttled to slow speeds unless the site owners pay them for full-speed access.

And so on. And so on. And so on.

There are people, of course, who feel that the free market will sort all this out. And I feel sorry for those who cling to this delusion, because there is no free market any more. The people who own everything will be deciding how you access the internet, and there's nothing "free" about that. Especially if you're in a rural area where you don't have any options for which company you can use to even get access to the internet in the first place.

When I think of all the tax dollars... OUR tax dollars... that went into building the internet only to have it fall into the hands of corporations, I'm shocked and disgusted. I know I shouldn't be, because that's the way everything else has gone, but I am. I always thought that the outcry against unfettered access to the internet would be so huge that there was no way it could ever happen.

Yet here we are.

Or maybe it's just me. For all I know, your ISP could decide that Blogography is an undesirable risk to their revenue stream, and my blog will no longer be accessible.

In that case, it's been nice knowing you.

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Categories: Internets 2014Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. i’m blown away that more people are not freaking the fuck out

  2. Megan says:

    Where will it all end? And who is watching out for us?

  3. Sarah says:

    This is still just so shocking. I can’t believe more people are not upset about this. I”ve been reading about it a grimace on my face the whole time.

    It’s just terrible.

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