Just what is net neutrality anyway? And why should you care?
Just as a joke, I googled it (because I can google anything I want to while we have net neutrality in place), and this is what I got, from Wikipedia (because Wikipedia shows up in my browser without me or them having to pay extra for me to see it) –
the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites
And while I did the search as a joke, I’m not kidding in the least with today’s post.
The internet is like a Vegas buffet.
It may seem like the internet is invincible – some sort of super powered, always on, always available opportunity to find Taylor Swift singing to cats in a YouTube video montage; but the reality is more like the part where the internet is available, almost for free, to anyone who pays (or finds free WiFi, like Starbucks offers) to access the content in one big, all you can eat (for the price that you pay) buffet.
And just like that Vegas buffet, if you want to eat nothing but crab legs (cat videos), then no one is going to stop you. If you’d like to have lobster tails (Netflix) with your crab legs, then no one is going to stop you, as long as your Netflix subscription is current. Want a filet mignon (Hulu) with that? Go ahead, you’ve already paid for the buffet.
But what if all the sudden the internet turned into a cheap-o cruise ship and everything you really wanted was extra, a la carte, an add on, and even though you’d already paid for your room on the ship, if you wanted to use the shower, for instance, you’d need to pay again for that. Or maybe you want to open the window (since you’d have to pay extra for A/C running), but you have to pay for that. And you need to pay for pillows, since your room doesn’t offer that at the cruise price. Oh, wait, why do you need pillows, you haven’t purchased access to the mattress yet either.
That’s right, your Bellagio buffet just turned into norovirus on a Princess Cruise ship. You’ll get nothing but sick of what’s available at the base price, you won’t get any of your goodies, unless you or the content provider pay extra to the ISPs. It’s not like Comcast, Time Warner, ATT, and the rest of the telecom companies aren’t already the most hated companies on earth (with the possible exception of the airlines, but they already make you pay extra for everything but the bathroom), now they want to rip you a new one every time you want to surf.
How can net neutrality be in jeopardy, again?
We had this really awesome guy at the FCC, Tom Wheeler, but he’s out now (you know, new administration, changes to all the head honcho jobs, especially those that are actually good at their jobs in this case) and there’s a new fellow named Ajit Pai who has taken over.
He is terrible. So terrible I can’t even tell you about how terrible he is since I’ll need to take blood pressure medication and I don’t have any since my blood pressure is normally pretty low. Until I start thinking about this crap.
Pai doesn’t want you to have access to your favorite programming for one price. He wants someone to pay his cronies at the telecom companies for giving you access to the things you actually want to see, as opposed to the things that companies will pay the telecoms to show you at a cheaper rate. Keep in mind that it’s only a cheaper rate to you, someone else is paying the telecoms more money so they’re profiting like a mofo in this deal.
Consumer groups and Democrats on Capitol Hill say Pai and his supporters are playing fast and loose with the facts.
Surprise, surprise, someone from the telecoms being put in charge and skewing the deck in favor of his old buddies. This is not the first time that politicians have attempted to sell out the average person, and it won’t be the last. The big deal here is that if you can’t see what’s out there online, how do you know what you are seeing is the real deal? We’ve got enough fake news as it is, there’s zero reason to stifle content viewing based on who can afford to pay more money.
If I own a website (like this one), then the ISPs want someone – you or me – to pay more money for you to be able to see this website, since the guy down the street is willing to pay them $20 more per month to show his content to people instead of mine.
I don’t expect you, the reader, to pay up the difference, and I’m not opposed to Adwords, Facebook ads, Outbrain, etc – fair advertising for fair display based on the results that you, the reader, want to see – your own free will, your own choice, based on all the results.
And that’s where the problem lies –
ATT, Comcast, Time Warner, Century Link, etc – they are all so freaking jealous of all the money that Google and Facebook (and Netflix and Amazon) are bringing in, they cannot stand it. Never mind that they are already making plenty of profit (and I’m not against profit, companies can’t run at a loss for long, outside of Uber, lol), the issue is that they cannot be satisfied with their profits, they want to cut into everyone else’s profits and take a chunk that doesn’t belong to them in the slightest.
They are compensated by the subscription fees we all pay for internet service or cellular data every month, and they do not need their grubby hands in every transaction and every page view we execute online.
WTF? Welcome to censorship, misinformation, disinformation, outright lies and bulls**t.