Corporatists of America, rejoice. The Internet monopolists have won.
Any semblance of net neutrality in the United States is as good as dead. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 order that imposed network neutrality regulations on wireline broadband services. The ruling is a major victory for telecom and cable companies who have fought all net neutrality restrictions vociferously for years.
Net neutrality was the set of rules that required Internet service provider (ISP) network management to be transparent, and that prohibited ISPs from engaging in practices that block, stifle or discriminate against (lawful) websites or traffic types on the Internet.
No more net neutrality means ISPs can now discriminate against content they dislike. ISPs can now force websites to PAY for faster content delivery.
Netflix watchers and BitTorrent users might want to beware — soon your beloved services may not work like they used to. Now that net neutrality’s down for the count, ISPs can discriminate against entire types of traffic: For instance, an ISP could slow or block all peer-to-peer file sharing, or all online video streaming.
…Right now, America’s broadband is slow. It’s slow because ISPs can already make gobs of money by charging the rich a ton for high-quality Internet while leaving the rest of America with subpar (or no) service.
Now, with net neutrality gone, ISPs will be able to make even more money off their existing customer base. They won’t need to improve service or bring broadband to rural areas because they’ll be able to keep growing (financially, at least) by charging content providers more for faster delivery and charging customers more for faster access. In all likelihood, Tuesday’s ruling means the problems with America’s Internet will be magnified.
America, your crappy broadband service just got crappier!
UPDATE: CREDO Action: Verizon killed Net Neutrality. But the FCC can save it
Petition: Tell FCC Tom Wheeler: Reclassify broadband as a telecom service, and enact strong Net Neutrality protections.