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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

 

If you’ve been following stuff online for the past couple months, you’ll know that the idea of net neutrality has once again made it into the spotlight.

For those who don’t know, net neutrality rules basically dictated that internet service providers (ISPs) could not charge different prices for different content creators to get their content to consumers. For example, under those rules, Comcast couldn’t charge Netflix an extra fee in order to get their stuff streamed (this is a cost that would undoubtedly get tossed back down to the consumer).

It’s a bad way to run business, and stunts innovation, not allowing new startups to compete with the big companies that can afford to pay for such spikes in cost.

Today, the FCC decided to roll back on those regulations, and Netflix wasn’t too happy. According to Variety, the streaming service said:

“We’re disappointed in the FCC’s decision to gut the net neutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity and civic engagement. Today’s decision is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix will stand with innovators, large and small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.”

We normally don’t get political on this site, but we figure this is one exception: this is an awful idea, and makes it so that large companies are the only ones able to afford to get their content to the consumer.

If one day Comcast decided that LRM would have to pay a ridiculous extra fee in order to get their content to consumers without killer load times, smaller sites like us would likely not be able to foot the bill. The rolling back of net neutrality regulations make this a very real possibility.

Another scenario is that if Comcast decides to launch their own streaming service, they can throttle Netflix’s speed so that their own service gets favored by their customers.

The argument against this is that the consumers can vote with their wallets to go to a different ISP if they don’t like their regulations, but the internet industry in the U.S. is such an oligopoly that consumers don’t have much competition to retreat to. As such, ISPs are pretty much given all the power here.

We’ll be following this story closely.

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SOURCE: Variety

  • Vector

    Netflix prospered before the current rules, they’ll do fine afterwards.

    • TheOct8pus

      This isn’t an argument about whether huge corporations like Netflix will survive. It’s about smaller up-and-comers and innovators.

      • Kratos

        i remember days not so long ago when netflix was a small up-and-comer against huge corporation blockbuster video. ask blockbuster how that turned out for them. capitalism is boss.

        • Joseph Jammer Medina

          Capitalism doesn’t work when Oligopolies are in place. Consumers have nowhere else to give their money. and when we’re dealing with something that’s required to function in day-to-day life, it’s not something we can just not get.

          • Kratos

            you could argue that BB video was an oligopoly of sorts during the late 1980s throughout the early 2000s when it came to consumer options for buying/renting movies and other entertainment media….and look what technology along with free market capitalism — the internet / development and deployment of the various streaming options now available, netflix, iTunes, hulu, etc— rapidly did to facilitate the demise of BB.

          • Joseph Jammer Medina

            Not the same thing. Blockbuster was for the home video market. The internet is for EVERYTHING.

      • Vector

        You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

        There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

        “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

      • Vector

        You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

        There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

        “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

      • Vector

        You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

        There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

        “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

      • Vector

        You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

        There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

        “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

      • Vector

        You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

        There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

        “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

      • Vector

        You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

        There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

        “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

      • Vector

        You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

        There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

        “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

    • Vector

      You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

      There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

      “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

    • Vector

      You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

      There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

      “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

    • Vector

      You want to make the landscape more friendly for up and comers and innovators? Then you go with less government interference and regulation, not more.

      There wasn’t “net neutrality” from the eighties to 2015, and the internet exploded in reach, influence, and commerce. So called net neutrality was nothing but a purposely misnamed attempt to begin regulating the internet like any other utility.

      “Net Neutrality” – I’m glad your dead. I hope it hurt.

  • TheOct8pus

    One day, when I’m old and gray and have a long beard, I’ll sit down with my grandkids and tell them that when I was younger I could watch all the free porn I wanted… “Free porn?” they’ll ask incredulously.

    • Kratos

      i hope my not yet born grandkids have unfettered access to free VR pr0n.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Streaming free porn in a more civilized age. Before the dark times. Before the FCC.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Streaming free porn in a more civilized age. Before the dark times. Before the FCC.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Streaming free porn in a more civilized age. Before the dark times. Before the FCC.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Streaming free porn in a more civilized age. Before the dark times. Before the FCC.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Streaming free porn in a more civilized age. Before the dark times. Before the FCC.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Streaming free porn in a more civilized age. Before the dark times. Before the FCC.

      • Kratos

        ahahahah….i guess the disqus maintenance or whatever is complete…everyones duplicate replies are showing up

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Streaming free porn in a more civilized age. Before the dark times. Before the FCC.

  • M@rvel

    sigh………

  • Mad Barchetta

    My overall opinion here is that this was a very wrong-headed move by the FCC. It continues a trend where my government tells me that it is doing something that is supposed to be good for all the little guys, but is actually only actually good for the big corporations who feed into campaign funds, investor portfolios and cushy lobbyist jobs.

    At the same time, when I first heard about the FCC’s plans, I had the incorrect idea that Net Neutrality (NN) was a much longer-standing rule than it really is. NN has only been in existence for a little under 3 years. So, realizing that, I can look back and say that Ye Olde Interwebs have existed as I know them much longer without NN than with it.

    What that means is that the ISP’s out there did NOT choose to do ALL the terrible things then that people now say they will do to all of us. The Interwebs grew apace and we all have enjoyed the benefits. However, that’s not to say that certain providers, lookin’ right at you Comcast, didn’t attempt to do things to throttle speeds for certain applications, leading to court battles.

    Unfortunately for those of us supporting NN, the Supreme Court often sided against the FCC’s attempts to keep the Webs free and available to all of us. So much depends on the definition or label used for ISP’s and the Web that then dictates how they are or are not regulated. In those cases, the Supreme Court was right to rule that the FCC was overreaching, unfortunately. Even worse, I am sure the ISP’s, which are also phone and cable TV providers, are even more motivated now to eliminate NN because of all the TV content and VOIP usage that have both been cutting into their profits.

    In the end, this could all suck very badly and give a handful of large corporations much greater control over the information and services each of us has access to. Or…maybe nothing so terrible will happen. Maybe the outcomes will be much less dire than predicted and much of this hand-wringing has been about a collective Chicken Little mentality. I’ve heard for years that unlimited data on cell phone plans was going to disappear, but the reality is it has only become more common and cheaper. Y2K was supposed to be a time of riots and chaos. Really wasn’t. Not all predictions come true.

    So, while i think what happened today is very much a bad thing that opened the door for many other bad things, I have to wonder if it’s actually going to be as bad as it has been made out to be. Guess we’ll find out!

    • Joseph Jammer Medina

      My main concern is that companies are just getting the hang of how to monetize the web. Now that it’s more firmly established, I know ISPs will act to take advantage of it. Before, the net’s online business aspect was still maturing. In short, companies are better suited for knowing how to screw us than they were even 5 years ago.

      • Mad Barchetta

        Sadly, I suspect that is true.

      • Kratos

        you think companies just now– in 2017– are getting the hang of how to monetize the web?

  • Victor Roa

    Netflix is probably the most to loose out of this.

  • Atirus

    FCC done fucked up! Greed in its most perverted form!

  • Be

    Comcast now controls the internet. They can shut you down, shut you off and you can’t do a thing about it. COmcast has already started to throttle netflix into unusability. They won’t just use it to get more money from Netflix, they will use it to kill netflix as a serious competitor to Xfinity. What fools doubt that?

    I recommend everybody quit Comcast. I am working on it.
    Sadly, whatever ISP takes their place, will also own you.
    It’s like the phone company being able to listen in,edit , and prevent calls to and from whomever they wish.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.