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In 2007, then Senator Obama said....without net neutrality, the result would be “much better quality from the Fox News site and you’d be getting rotten service from the mom and pop sites.”
Seven years later and Obama's FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chairman Thomas Wheeler is now recommending just such an internet future.
...the Washington Post has confirmed, based on inside sources, that the new rule gives broadband providers “the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers … in a commercially reasonable matter.” That’s telecom-speak for payola payments,....
The move could dramatically reshape the Web experiences of consumers, where videos for ESPN.com, Facebook or YouTube might be delivered more smoothly because of payments to broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. The streaming videos of a smaller competitor could be halted with buffering and low-quality images if those firms aren't able to pay ISPs access to faster Internet lanes into American homes.
The concept of net neutrality runs contrary to how exceptional America does things. Net neutrality treats all internet content equally.....and that is not how our economy is organized. Continual corporate profits dictate what the commoners have access to....and now as cable teevee subscribers are dropping like flies, huge cable conglomerates want to replace lost revenues with new exploitation-of-broadband revenues. Tiering internet content.....or "choosing winners and losers"....is the new plan, and it looks like the FCC will help the Telecommunications Monopoly Men with their new plan.
Representatives of the FCC say otherwise......but you tell me, does this comment give you confidence.....
"Broadband providers would be required to offer a baseline level of service to their subscribers, along with the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers," an FCC official said on the conditional of anonymity. "In all instances, broadband providers would need to act in a commercially reasonable manner subject to review on a case-by-case basis."
Anyone want to take a guess on the quality of that "baseline level of service."
In our New Gilded Age federal agencies, like the FCC, are filled with corporate-sympathizers. That's the purpose of our federal agencies now. To protect and defend the profit-seeking of, usually, huge corporate behemoths. So, this new move by the FCC comes as no surprise to this blogger. I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner.
Instead of dealing with broadband distribution as a public utility.....delivered to all American households with the highest speeds available and the lowest costs....our Gilded Age Leaders decided to make internet distribution a new profit-center enabling an already rich few to become even richer. Also, too....the private sector is always so much better at providing....well....everything.
And how has that profit-center approach worked out for all us exceptional Americans?
Broadband services for American homes can be nearly three times more expensive than those in the United Kingdom and France, and more than five times as much as in South Korea, according to a comparison of services by the New America Foundation.
Lower to medium broadband services can average $99 in San Francisco and $70 in New York City, compared to $38 in London, $35 in Paris and $15 in Seoul.
How about internet speed? Surely, by paying twice as much Americans are enjoying the fastest internet experiences in all the world, right?
A top-of-the-line cable modem in the U.S. carries five megabits per second, while broadband connections in Asian countries like Japan and South Korea are often 20 times faster.
Americans pay more.....twice as much in most cases....than those other inferior countries and we pay twice as much....for a lesser product. Just like we do with healthcare.
Say it with me.....U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.
The FCC will take a vote on this new internet exploitation May 15th. You might call your congressperson......but when have elected representatives listened to the will of the non-rich lately?
Personally, I've seen this movie before, and that one ended with only 3 cable-teevee distributors remaining when the dust cleared.....your local cable monopoly, 2 satellite providers, and AT&T U-verse. Amazingly, or not, the pricing for all three are virtually identical.
Cherish those occasional nostalgic high-speed internet moments you've had......because the glorydays of the "information superhighway", at least in America, are about to run into the solid brick wall of government-sponsored, corporate profit-mongering.