what no net neutrality will probably *actually* look like
You’ve probably seen something like this before:
a graphic supposed to show “a world without net neutrality” where they make it look like a cable plan. Whether people kept pushing this because they thought it was easier to explain or this was a long-run anti-net neutrality ploy so that people won’t know what to really look for, I’m not sure, but either way it’s inaccurate.
(You might be thinking “Hey now, but I thought Portugal already had plans just like that!” because you have seen this:
These are actually slightly different than you’ve been led to believe. There was a monthly data plan that covered all web usage for a certain amount of data, BUT paying extra a month for websites and apps you use a lot means they won’t count against your data cap. We’ll get into that later.)
When I say it’s inaccurate, this doesn’t mean the companies CAN’T do this, it means they WON’T. Why not? Take a look at the sites up there. Barring outdated sites (jesus when was this made??? myspace??? msn??? who made this one???) They’re all extremely popular websites with a bunch of money. Do you really think that this whole time the plan was to kill big companies by barring them from half the population? No.
So what would be more likely?
Probably something like this, except I’m just guessing at the numbers here, and this would be paid multiple times if multiple ISPs adopt this setup. Point is, users won’t be forced to pay per website for slower speeds, but the websites will. Anyone remember Netflix in 2014?
Yeah. Comcast and Verizon said “Streaming Netflix takes up so much of our resources… we’re going to slow down their speeds until they pay us to keep their customers happy.” And it worked.
So now that Net Neutrality rules are gone again, that can start back up. And for larger websites, they can manage. They can afford to pay. But your startups and small businesses can’t, and without paying they can’t grow. They want to “fix” this loophole where the internet makes it moderately easier to start and grow your own business, find an audience, and become successful. Back to square one.
Oh yeah, and they could block certain news stories they don’t like. So there’s that.
I end with a brief foray into zero-rating, because you might think something like this looks nice (besides the violent color scheme that probably makes you internally cringe and want to look away):
This is from T-Mobile. It’s a data plan where certain apps don’t count towards your monthly data limit.
Like the Portugal plans?
Pretty much like those, but without extra money thrown in.
Wait, that’s been an offer from T-Mobile for a while, right? So we’ve had these even when net neutrality rules were in effect?
Exactly. Zero-rating virtually does the same things the loss of net neutrality does: allows ISPs to choose what succeeds and what consumers will use. Despite this, it has never been against the law. The most it has gotten from the FCC was *vague mumbling* “we’ll look into it case-by-case.” And if we’re being honest, most of Title II for broadband providers was not as useful as it should be, since any time the FCC investigated a company possibly breaking the rules, it ended in *shrug* “Eh why not?”
Now, you might still think these deals sound nice. “So what? They’re already popular sites, they’re what I’m going to use most, it’ll be nice if they don’t count against me. It’s convenient for the customer and cheaper than unlimited plans.”
They do look pretty at first. Unlimited music and Netflix?? Hell yeah! But what these plans do is kill actual Unlimited Data plans. When’s the last time you’ve seen one for a decent price? It’s much easier for the companies to deliver just about the same amount of data while also being able to control what websites you use it on and who you give money to.
So yeah, tl;dr: a lot of posts told you this would be bad for popular social sites bc you’d have to pay extra. those guys are gonna be fine (except maybe wikipedia, they might be forced to give up their ad-free appeal) and they aren’t the victims here. it’s gonna hurt small businesses, and you might not see it if you don’t know where to look. hell, you might even think some of the plans getting offered sound nice. don’t be fooled.
So since we are going to definitely lose Net Neutrality since nothing people say matters and the rulers are blindly evil - do you think we could push this into a fight for municipal broadband with direct democratic control? Can’t be fucked by Comcast if we create our own fiber-optic internet that is controlled by the people.
Congress and the Senate have nothing to do with the vote to keep Net Neutrality. Only 5 people at the FCC get to vote: Ajit Pai, Mignon Clyburn, Michael O'Reilly, Brendan Carr, and Jessica Rosenworcel. Mignon and Jessica plan to vote to keep net neutrality. To defeat the net neutrality repeal, 1 of these 3 men need to change their vote:
Ajit Pai: 202-518-7399
Michael O'Reilly: 301-657-9092
Brendan Carr: 202-719-7305
Please, please, PLEASE contact them! Net neutrality is crucial to what all of us here on Facebook and across the entire internet enjoy on a daily basis. It guarantees equal access to the internet for all! MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Please copy and repost!
i haven’t seen ANYTHING on net neutrality in the past two weeks. nothing. y’all shouldn’t pay less attention to it now the vote of december 14th is past us. now’s the time to fight as if your lives depend on it! keep each other updated and informed! get it trending again! #SaveNetNeutrality
“Not what, who. He’s the most feared bounty hunter in the system.”
“What makes him so special? Cybernetics? Psyonics? Whatever it is, we’ve beaten it before.”
“That’s just it, there is no trick. Nothing. Plain Vanilla biology and no weapons beyond chemically propelled kinetics and edged tools.”
“You’re kidding, right? Then why is he such a big deal?”
“He’s a big deal because he does the job without anything like that. He can track you down and kill you without any net-dives or mind scans, and there’s nothing we’ve got that can shut him down. He’s not cybernetic so we can’t EM him, and he’s got no psychic presence so we can’t psybomb him. There’s almost no way to track him down or get away once he’s found you.”
“Can’t we just kill him?”
“Good luck. First you’ve got to find him, and they say he can disguise himself as anything.”
I’m not one to rant about topics like this, but Net Neutrality is something important to me; I am able to escape from the world that had isolated me since childhood, draw whatever I want and post it when I can, and so much more.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai claims that the internet was better in the Clinton era of the 90′s. I wasn’t around when the internet was just starting up, but I do know that the internet at the time was dial-up, and it would take sometimes HOURSjust to visit one website. The internet at the time was more of a LUXURYat the time.
Nowadays, it is a UTILITY! Schools, businesses, the government, news media, and ordinary citizens now use the internet on a daily basis. The world is becoming a more knowledge-based economy; and if Net Neutrality is removed; than we won’t reach the economy that has been growing.
People left cable television because they were extremely limited on what they could watch. And if there’s something they want to watch that’s on a channel that’s exclusive; they have to buy a whole package for just a few extra channels. Cablizing the internet will just go the way of cable TV; people will leave and will find some other way of entertainment.
People of all parties agree that Net Neutrality should be left alone. And there’s just one more thing I have to say:
We told you once; we’ll tell you again, leave the internet alone! Even if you take Net Neutrality away, we will fight to gain it back; even if it takes years!
The people are speaking; and you are not listening Ajit Pai. What you are doing is corporatism, not capitalism. You have admitted that you are doing this to benefit your former employer; Version, and other ISP’s. Even laughing at the Telecom Prom about the more than 22 million comments that were sent to you and the other members of the FCC; as well as laughing at someone who is not afraid to speak out against your actions.
You think that we, the citizens of the United States of America are less than you, but I will tell you; WE ARE NOT LESS THAN YOU! WE FOUGHT TO SEPARATE FROM A POWER THAT SAW US AS NOTHING; AND WE WILL FIGHT A POWER THAT OPPRESSES US AGAIN!
Almost certainly, this is going to pass. Net Neutrality, at least federally-enforced Net Neutrality, is basically dead, and there’s nothing we can really do about that now. Calling Congress won’t help, and never really could, since everything will be decided solely by the FCC’s five commission members, one of whom is Pai himself, and two others who are similarly dead-set on corporate fuckery as a platonic ideal. That means this plan will probably pass 3-2 no matter what.
So what now? How do we live in a post Net Neutrality world?
Pai’s plan would put internet communications under the control of the FTC and not the FCC. The FTC would not have the authority to enforce Net Neutrality in any capacity. However, they do have the authority to enforce that corporations are transparent about their practices. Plainly put, corporations will be forced to deliver what they advertise. They can package the internet, offer paid prioritization, and the like, but they will have to say so.
This means that if a service provider offers a neutral internet, they will have to deliver. And almost certainly, many if not most service providers will have to, or face backlash. Some will try to deneutralize the internet, sure, but they will be stepping into outrage hell. Democracy must now be waged on the corporate level, and not governmental. This means complaints to ISPs, calling out bad practices, making a ruckus and creating backlash when ISPs begin enacting anti-consumer practices.
Unfortunately, this will be incredibly difficult. Telecom is currently an oligopoly, which means that there are few if any competitive options available for most consumers, and the FCC has made it actively difficult for startups to compete. It will now be of utmost importance to see what internet options are available, and whether they offer neutral access to the internet. Even if you only have one or two big ISPs available in your area, small internet startups appear and fizzle out all the time, so keep an eye out. They typically fail because, being small companies, they lack the access to the infrastructure that big cable companies already have access to, and therefore can’t supply internet service at competitive speeds. However, corporate-scale net neutrality will become a second point of competition besides speed. If a small company offers slower speeds but neutral access, they should be supported.Eventually, if big telecom companies see they’re losing consumers to smaller, neutral providers, they will change their practices too, and everyone benefits, even the people without options. And with any luck, they’ll learn that lesson sooner rather than later. (this process will be accelerated if bigger companies offer neutral access from the get-go, instead of having to rely solely on the whims and fortune of Small Business™)
All this is full of maybes and ifs, and may not work, and may take a long time, and federally-enforced Net Neutrality is definitely preferable, but all is not lost. There will almost definitely be a lot of nasty greedy bullshit that will affect a lot of people, but the fight isn’t over.