Net Neutrality is gone…now what?

By | February 11, 2014

We’ve written about Net Neutrality many times. From the lack of comments we’ve received on the subject, either most of you don’t care, or don’t understand the implications of the loss of what has become known as Net Neutrality – or open access for all the Internet. An Internet where content providers – big and small – like Google & Cloudeight, have equal access.  It means that our Web site content will be delivered to you as quickly as Google’. 

But now that the doctrine of Net Neutrality has been ended by an appellate court ruling – and a heavily lobbied congress – what can we expect? It’s likely that small, mom and pop Web sites become slower and slower to load as big ISPs charge sites for “express content delivery”. Clearly, Cloudeight Internet is in no position to pay anyone for express content delivery, whereas Google, Microsoft, Amazon, et. al. are.

But it’s not only small sites that are at the mercy of the big cable and Internet Service Providers – it’s you and you and, yes, you. It may affect anyone who has an idea or a product and wants to start a Web site to share and idea or sell a product – unless of course you’re well-heeled. It’s more and more and more – All About The Money.

While we have not received a great deal of feedback about Net Neutrality, we have received some. The gist of which seems to be people don’t want the government meddling in our affairs. Well, I agree the government needs to keep its nose out of our business for the most part. But consider our public schools and our roads. Imagine if the government stopped funding schools or maintaining and building roads. Would you be in favor of turning the public schools and roads and interstate highways over to private corporations?

We can compare the end of Net Neutrality with the end of our public highway system. Imagine big corporations with billions of dollars taking control of our roads. Right now we all have equal access to the highways and byways and streets and roads anywhere in our country. But what if a handful of corporations suddenly bought up and controlled those highways and roads and streets? What do you think would happen?

I can imagine such a scenario:  Soon we’d be paying tolls to go across town. We’d pay another toll to travel to another town, and another to travel to another state. We’d be stopping to pay tolls very often…so the next thing we’d be doing is buying “express passes” that would let us travel toll-free, but only on a certain company’s roads. And if we traveled often between roads owned by company X and Z, we’d be buying express passes from company x and company z and praying that company Y didn’t start building road too.

And so it is with a neutral Internet, we all had equal access to the content of every legal site on the Internet. Sure, come loaded faster than others, but that’s due to other variables such as location, how many images and graphics were on the site, and how well the site was coded. But every one of us had equal access to the roads of the Internet. And no one could buy the faster roads, the turnpikes, the expressways and charge us or content providers to use them. But now there is nothing stopping big corporations and Internet Service Providers from charging users or content providers to use the “express lanes”. And you know when it comes to greed, there’s no end.

So do we really want to trust the people who provide Internet services to keep things fair and equal? What do you think. Now that Net Neutrality is gone, how long will it be before we see tiered Internet – where for a one price you can access some sites, for a higher price you can access more sites, etc. Or where ISPs like Comcast, which owns NBC can throttle news from Fox or ABC or CBS as it is accessed by its customers making Fox News, CBS news, or ABC news dreadfully slow and difficult to access?

The Internet moguls, for now, are promising to keep the status quo. But remember when cable TV first started streaming into our homes? We paid a monthly fee to watch commercial-free TV. What happened?  Now cable TV is just as saturated with ads as broadcast TV. And so it will be with trusting the Internet giants to keep things as they are where everyone and every legal Web site has equal access to the highways and byways of the Internet. How long do you think that’s going to last? It will last about as long as it takes to for the big Internet companies to figure out how best to capitalize on the new unregulated Internet.

According to conservatives, competition will keep Internet providers from restricting access to Internet content because deregulation is great for everyone. Indeed. Have you flown recently, did you notice a huge difference in fares between United, Delta, and let’s say Southwest? Have you bought gasoline lately…how much difference in cost was there between your local Shell station and BP station?

According to liberals, the end of Net Neutrality will doom the Internet.  I think the answer lies somewhere in between. But whatever happens now will be driven by how much money Internet Providers can make – and greed has no limits.

It’s really important that you understand what Net Neutrality means and how it may affect you. We have been writing about if for years. We don’t believe in governments sticking their nose into our personal business, but as with roads, schools, fire departments, police protection, etc., the Internet and its content need to remain free, equal and accessible to everyone. Google has hundreds of billions of dollars and Cloudeight has very little, right now both Google and Cloudeight are equally accessible to you and everyone else. The end of Net Neutrality might mean that won’t be true much longer. Who do you think is going to have express delivery of its content? Cloudeight of Google?

What kind of Internet do you want?

Here are two opposing views of Net Neutrality. One published by Huffington Post (liberal) and one by Forbes (conservative):

Huffington Post

Forbes

Read both and make up your own mind. Don’t be a Conservative or a Liberal – be a person who cares about your Internet.

Net Neutrality is gone, and now we’re going to learn over the next few years which one of these articles is correct.

10 thoughts on “Net Neutrality is gone…now what?

  1. Amy DeMeo

    Well I’m going to bet that if you asked most people on the street they wouldn’t know what Net Neutrality means nor that we were in the process of fighting for it and then lost the fight. And even if they knew, they would probably not have lifted their finger to sign a petition nor a phone to call their Congress person.

    Just like they won’t help the fight to take back our privacy on the internet. We get what we deserve.

    Reply
  2. shari carter

    At the risk of appearing ignorant, I’ve now read both of the suggested articles, still don’t really understand it all, but can say with passionate honesty, I just don’t want to lose you and your invaluable assistance to all of us in general, and me in particular. I don’t recall having been presented with anything to sign – or I would have done. And, if I understood what it is , exactly, that I should be telling my congressman, and if I could present the case sounding as if I knew what I was talking about, I would surely call – if I believed that my call would be helpful. Or perhaps even if I did not!

    Reply
  3. Holly H

    This all sounds scary BUT what can the average person do about it? Nothing has ever been presented to me either AND I along with all your cloudeight followers do NOT want to loose you!!! Where are the answers?

    Reply
  4. Carolyn

    First one thing and then another with government creeping more and more into our lives and homes. There’s a bracelet you can wear…records your health. There’s talk about the future wherein insurance companies will charge more if you don’t wear it, less if you do wear it, and even more of a discount if you comply with a healthy lifestyle to avoid early death/sickness. What’s next? This is just one more step where the big guys start to tell us how to live. So, I guess my question is this: just how much “freedom” do we really have in this country? The court obviously doesn’t seem to care. They don’t just judge situations; they appear to MAKE law. This was a bad move on their part. I thought “monopoly” was illegal. It won’t take long for these moguls to figure out just how to make it happen. You’re right – there is no end to greed.

    Reply
  5. Kevin

    This court ruling wasn’t a surprise. Those who have the most marbles wins. I have seen it time and again over
    fifty years. We the small have a collected voice to speak with and most of the time we (the small) are heard,
    unless the ones with more marbles say (the big) they (the small) don’t know what they talking about we (the big)
    will make the choice for you. As long as the government is controlled by lobbyist and money we the small have lost
    our voice. I was a small business owner for 17 years and fought the system at every turn to keep my cost down
    due to regulations, but in the end guess who won. The only thing we (the small) can do is find other avenues to
    use and stay away for the big corporations
    .

    Reply
  6. Roger Bauer

    Folks, net neutrality is another way to let government intrusion rule and to let big, influential ,monied corporations have their way. I believe the net should be for all with no loss of privacy. There should be no favoritism. If you like your internet then you should be able to keep your internet (the way it is). We all should tell our congressman “say no to net neutrality”.

    Reply
  7. Dolly

    Sorry to see this happening but I have for several months felt that I could no longer keep up with all the changes the internet has had. I just bought a new Windows 8 and regret it even though I’ve set it up very much like Xp and it is working well. With your three articles (Fingerprints all over the world, Don’t trust anyone anymore, & Net Neutrality) this week I am with-in a half inch of getting off the internet. It’s been a fun ride!!!!!!! I taught computer to Seniors age 50 to 92 years old for over 5 years and also did private tutoring, and computer repair, but the ride will soon stop. Thank you for your faithfulness and all the information you have given over the years. I have benefited so much from your wisdom and dedication. You have been a real blessing to so many but I sometimes get the feeling from the tone of your newsletters that you are also disenchanted with the things that are happening with the Internet and so much bad going on. The old saying “All good things must end” still is true today. I’ll truly miss this old friend, the Internet.

    Reply
  8. Tracy

    Well, I plucked up my courage, did some research, and TOOK ACTION by signing the petition to the FCC from the freepress.net website. Thanks TC and EB for prodding me to action. I hope it isn’t too late.

    Reply

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