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How Does FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal Affect You?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Net neutrality is the guiding principle behind the open internet. It is the reason why Internet Service Providers treat all users, websites, content, platforms and modes of communication equally without any type of discrimination. But now, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has suggested some sweeping changes to net neutrality that could forever alter the way we access the internet. Learn more about FCC’s Net Neutrality proposal below and check out how it could affect you.

What Is FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal?

FCC’s proposed rules would allow ISPs to create “special lanes” for websites and service providers who are willing to pay a higher price to them. This would essentially lead to the creation of a two-tiered internet where traffic from service providers like Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Google etc. would receive a preferential treatment while access to small and unknown sites would be a lot slower. As you can imagine, this proposal would lead to the creation of a closed internet where only service providers with deep pockets are likely to survive. Here are some other implications of the FCC’s proposed rules:

Net Neutrality Rule #1: The proposal is likely to make services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime more expensive. Since these service providers would be paying extra to get their content delivered to the customers, it is but natural that they would expect their subscribers to share the burden in order to get the same quality of service. While the customers would indeed benefit from the improved speeds, this proposal is needlessly going to increase the cost both for the service providers as well as the subscribers.

Net Neutrality Rule #2: The net neutrality proposal would enable the ISPs to suppress content from their competitors. For example, if this ruling comes into effect, Comcast would be able to slow down access to ABC’s website while giving preferential treatment to NBC’s content. Moreover, it would also encourage the ISPs to slow down access to certain activities like VOIP, FTP, emailing etc. It is worth noting that many ISPs already throttle torrenting traffic so it is anybody’s guess what they could do once they have a favorable legislation on their side.

Net Neutrality Rule #3: The move is also likely to stifle innovation since startup companies won’t be able to compete against established players. The biggest benefit of net neutrality is that it gives a fair chance to everyone but once businesses are forced to shell out more to receive the same kind of results, investments in small companies and unproven ideas is likely to dry up.

Net Neutrality Rule #4: The changes in net neutrality would also suppress free speech on the internet since whistleblowers and non-government organizations won’t be able to outpay the corporates that they are fighting or exposing.

On the whole, FCC’s Net Neutrality proposal looks like a bad idea right from the outset. The ruling would not only lead to the creation of a closed internet, it would also give immense power to the ISPs and allow them to dictate what kind of content should be made available to the customers.

If you are against this idea, you can do your bit and sign the petition against FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal below: http://act.freepress.net/sign/internet_fcc_congress_nprm

September 2, 2014

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