Casual Hex

Uncertain about goals, impulsive in online activities.

On Net Neutrality and Regulation

FCC regulation, or government involvement in "controlling" the internet doesn’t really appeal to me. But the government already does, and has from the very beginning. Net neutrality exists because of laws created by the government, and the issues surfacing over the past few years are that providers have been fighting those laws. FCC regulation of the internet as a utility would hopefully be a Good Thing, stopping the providers from turning net neutrality into a train wreck. That doesn't mean everything will be instantly awesome and right, or that the EFF and other watch groups, will suddenly have nothing to be concerned about.

All I know is that I want true internet freedom. Freedom of choice for customers in providers would be very nice. Isn't it convenient for providers that in most markets customers have little to no choices in which provider to use? That's not open, free market competion. If we had providers competing with each other for customers, maybe a lot of the issues customers complain about wouldn't even exist. This part alone, Libertarians, is my biggest reason for saying "leave it alone, keep the FCC out of it" is hogwash.

I know that internet providers cannot simply spread into new areas overnight. So while they drag their feet in covering new areas to begin competing with each other for customers, it'd be super nice to be free from getting buggered by providers during the process. Maybe some basic, customer respectful rules they have to follow.

Also, freedom from providers injecting tracking and other code into all web page headers, because more providers do this than not and it’s really not cool. When I view a web page it shouldn't be altered in any way by a 3rd party without my permission.

Comcast caps bandwidth for all subscribers, in certain cities, no matter the plan you’re on, like here in Huntsville, AL. My family can’t stay under that cap, I have tried to limit and control what we do to lower our usage and it is just not possible. So our family pays extra every single month. By extra, I mean sometimes 50% above our already expensive bill. That cap1 is way too low with today’s media heavy internet. Comcast charges Netflix for access to Comcast customers then turns around and charges Netflix customers for the bandwidth used to access Netflix. I have no doubt that providers will be doing the same with all media-rich sites and then move on to sites like Facebook, Twitter, any big brand that total bandwidth of all users crosses some X number considered to be enough to charge them for.

Net neutrality is dying, quickly being chipped away by the big internet providers. It’s being replaced by nickel and diming schemes that will make the decades of misery everyone has suffered with cable television look like utopia in comparison. So…

Do I want full on regulation? Heck no. But the way internet providers are allowed to control the market now– that’s not free internet. I'm behind, and in full support, of whatever it takes to get true open market, competitive internet provider choices for everyone.

1. Our cap is 300GB. We have a 100Mbps downstream plan with Comcast. Any guesses how quickly one can hit 300GB at that speed? Comcast is introducing 300Mbps+ plans in some areas. What's the point in signing up for something like that with the bandwidth cap?