The Consequences of Net Neutrality’s Defeat

Category: Technology / Jan 16, 2014 6:20PM EDT

Today we’re going to talk about Net Neutrality. The DC Court of Appeals just ruled that the Open Internet Rules proposed by the FCC are “unenforceable” and “without legal ground.”

The entire thing was struck down, and it’s all because the FCC didn’t classify Internet Service Providers as telecommunication companies. The court ruled that since companies like Verizon and Comcast were technically not telecommunication companies, the FCC lacked the authority to enforce Open Internet laws.

So, what does that mean for you, the average Internet user? Well, assuming this ruling stands, the times, they are a-changin’.

ISPs will be legally able to throttle your connection speed if you take up a lot of bandwidth. Haha, yeah, now it’ll be legal. They’ve been doing that for a while though, ever notice that with Youtube? Or BitTorrent? Wait, do people still use BitTorrent?

Streaming services are the biggest problem, along with online gaming - you use more data playing games on Xbox Live and streaming episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix than you do screwing around on Twitter or Facebook.

So if you want the fast, stable connections - expect to pony up for a “higher tier package.” Right, because sixty bucks a year for Xbox Live isn’t too much money to pay already, on top of your monthly Internet bill.

Speaking of paying more money: this’ll probably up the cost of your Netflix subscription, and it all goes back to those two words: Net Neutrality.

Now this is an arms race among the biggest broadband providers, and they’ll reserve the fastest speeds and largest bandwidth abilities for themselves. Guess what? In the grand scheme of things - Netflix isn’t a big company. Now their main competitor, Hulu...they’re partly owned by Comcast. Can you guess where this is going?

Hulu won’t have to compete for the best bandwidth. When Netflix users find their speeds throttled, they’ll inevitably look at Hulu, and see no problem streaming HD video instantly. Netflix loses customers and profits, and might have to raise prices so it can get better broadband services. Their customers lose.

Hulu would gain that advantage since it’s under Comcast’s wing. That the point of Net Neutrality laws.