Net neutrality ruling won’t create the change it boasts

Net neutrality is beginning to run into some resistance. Not only does net neutrality face serious opposition from those who are looking to keep the Internet free of regulation – but also from those who are seeing the pending legal battles that will undoubtedly be forming shortly after any decision to regulate or re- categorize Internet as a Title II service. The fight is going to come from a multitude of fronts, too. The expectation is that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will rule in favor of changing Internet service to a Title II service, but many now are poking holes in the plan – even those who support the notion of ruling on net neutrality as a Title II service.

Net Neutrality

First, and even primarily they recognize the legal fight that would be fourthcoming if a ruling of this magnitude came down. Second, and still important those individuals are now acknowledging the serious holes in the plan that is being talked about. The notion that Internet will suddenly become more universally achieved and less expensive is something that remains in question for those people. They also agree that time and money will be wasted when it comes to regulating the service. If providers ultimately have to spend more money, more time, and more resources to accommodate the changes – then this would ultimately be something that would throw a wrench in the plan that the government is claiming.

Attorney Blair Levin, who was previously an FC chief of staff pointed out that “Wheeler’s proposal has genuine merits, but all he’s doing is clarifying the FCC’s legal authority to prevent blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of traffic and to require Internet providers to provide transparency as to their data practices.” Interestingly though, he goes on to point out that it won’t really change anything – if the FCC does actually make this ruling. In fact, he believes that this is “how to retain the status quo.”

Ultimately, these are interesting words from someone who would ordinarily throw support with the affiliation that he once had with the FCC. That being said, it has drawn a lot of curiosity from those on both sides of the aisle and from both viewpoints. It’s causing a lot more questions to be asked, and ultimately, that’s what this process is being billed as – an opportunity to ask more questions and create transparency.

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  • Sorry for this long comment, but I think it’s important. Here’s what I’m most concerned about as the future of internet service providers becomes more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands: Metered Billing or Usage Based billing. I believe this is the real pot of gold the current monopolists are after. It is also price-gouging, that multiple studies, done around the world, has show to be unjustified. Metered Billing, over some arbitrary cap, has been shown to be almost pure profit, with almost unmeasurable cost to the provider. (BTW, importantly, this is -not- true for cell phone data–at least not yet.)

    Internet service is currently, right now, already, THE most profitable product the monopoly cable systems sell–by far. Some studies have shown internet service–even -without- Metered Billing–to be 97% pure profit. Unbelievable–FOR A MONOPOLY! To allow monopoly cable and telecom providers to make huge profits from a publicly-granted monopoly (which they -all- are) is totally and transparently a sellout on the part of our government–at all levels. It can not be tolerated.

    For the above reason, I believe the Net Neutrality blow-up has been a nearly total head-fake on the part of the FCC and the industry oligarchs that control it. The industry will “lose” or “partially lose” on the Net Neutrality issue, and then very publicly use this “loss” to justify the implementation of Metered Billing.

    Watch for it, coming soon to a cable bill near you.

    Speed is important, and consistent speed is important. But, and this is a Big But: If the ISP’s start charging based on usage, it will be FAR more important to you. It doesn’t matter how fast the bits come, it you can’t afford to pay for them. Industry lobby officials and cable monopoly executives are publicly predicting that they will implement usage based billing at rates that will raise your monthly bill to $200 to $300 per month (their numbers, not mine) within a few years. They’ll do it slowly, with all sorts of complex plans, but the effect will be that your internet service bill will exceed your current cable TV bill–by a lot–in just a few years. And remember, this is for the bits only, no Netflix subscription or ESPN or CBS… Just the bits. HUGELY profitable for the monopolies as this is money they don’t have to share with HBO or USA Network or anybody. They keep it all. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN.