A Whole Lot on Net Neutrality, A View of the End of Civilization, and Some Happier Things

This entry is part 95 of 100 in the series Today's Tidbits

Today was a big day in the fight for Net Neutrality.

It was another big push to fill the public comment boxes at the FCC with our very solid desire that the Internet remain open and accessible, regardless of what company gets it to your screen.

Cable companies and phone companies (like Comcast and Verizon) have been fighting tooth and nail–mostly by throwing tons of money at lobbyists and campaign funds–to make sure they can squeeze profit out of both sides of the transaction without providing any better (and, if the content producers don’t pay, considerably worse) service to their customers. Their customers who are already paying more for less than a lot of other countries that are wired.

This goes along with the impending decision on the merger of Comcast and Time Warner, the number one and number two cable broadband providers in the U.S. (Their main argument for the merger is: “No, really, it won’t change anything… it’s not like we’re in competition with one another anywhere.” Yeah. I think I see the problem.)

Legislated net neutrality isn’t a perfect solution. But, right now, it’s the only thing that will stop the current business practices that Netflix has been loudly fighting. Their traffic was more or less (unofficially) held for ransom. Users, who had paid both Netflix and Comcast already for access, were finding their films buffering or not loading at all. Fingers got pointed all over the place, but the facts have shown that the slowdown happened at the connection between Netflix and Comcast. A spot where, mysteriously, no other data streams were having any real problems.

Ultimately, Netflix paid. And then Verizon and Time Warner, seeing that the gambit worked, did exactly the same thing.

You can only imagine how much power that gives these transmission companies.

Especially if they, say, have a competing product. Like, maybe, OnDemand… which lets people (people who pay more to the cable company) to stream movies and television shows.

Anyway, there are a few stories in the feed that really lay things out well. Don’t just take my word for it… give them a read.

Speaking of the feed… here it is…

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About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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