As FCC chairman Ajit Pai clarified his intent to dismantle the “Net Neutrality“, on Thanks Giving day I thought nothing is more important than clarifying my position on this issue. I decided to write and finish this post rather than going out and enjoy the day. But as I started writing few lines I realized I am so much blinded by my anger and frustration that I couldn’t put things together.
Despite the fact that the overwhelming number of American citizens supports Net Neutrality, how in the world FCC chairman goes against it? Not so surprisingly, he has long been seen as the close ally of broadcasters than FCC which should have been overseeing rules and regulations for a healthy Telecommunications industry.
During President Barack Obama’s administration FCC tightened it’s grip and literally stopped Internet Service Providers or ISP’s from stopping or slowing down the delivery of internet traffic for particular websites. Regulations from Obama era also helped the U.S. consumers from not getting robbed by ISPs in the name of extra charge for high quality streaming services and others. Seems like those heydays for us are about to be over. Pai want’s to give the long waited ISPs demand to get control over the internet and Washington based pro ISP lobbyist groups are now more active than ever.
Dominant Internet Service Providers by U.S. States. Source: WebpageFX
The picture attached above clearly identifies the top Internet service provider by the U.S. states and it’s more likely that you are using one of these ISPs service to visit this page as well. Now, what you need remember is that in the past Comcast forced Netflix to pay extra money to stop slowing down their traffic. Similar incident took place when Verizon blocked Google Wallet traffic. These are some of many examples of what possibly might happen once again if the vote goes in favor of Pai’s proposal. The result would be, controlled access to the Internet and the U.S. consumers who would pay (directly/indirectly) more for the services that they are enjoying now.
For better understanding, let’s take a look at the attached graphic below.
Possible Scenario of Internet Traffic after Net Neutrality finally ends on December 14, 2017.
As of today we all are enjoying the “Equal Lanes” regardless of the internet services we are accessing. However, after the Net Neutrality ends, the whole situation would change more like the right part of the graphic. The so called “fast lane” would be allocated only for the big brothers of the internet. Companies like Google, Netflix, Amazon etc. would have to pay higher for us to continue to enjoy the same services. However, new startup, small business website would get into the slow lane causing financial harm for them as they won’t be able to pay big bucks like other big brothers to get into the fast lanes. It’s a dooms day scenario for entrepreneurs. Also please don’t be surprised if you suddenly see a higher monthly bill for your favorite Netflix account.
As we the American citizens are standing at the verge of collapse of our freedom in internet, one must ask him/herself where does this all stops? The answer is fairly simple yet hard to achieve. Raise your voice and demand your rights, let your congressman/woman know your position on this issue. Afterall this is not what the Internet was meant to be at the first place. This is the time to put aside our political views and stand together firmly on this issue. Lets send a strong message to the government, either you change your position or we change you. Its us, the U.S. citizens has the power to take control of our legitimate right.