This is Why We Need Net Neutrality

In this post, a blogger appears to have caught a Verizon customer service rep admitting that Verizon limits access to cloud services – like Amazon Web Services and Netflix – thus reducing bandwidth and functionality. Now, let’s take this with a grain of salt. How likely is it that a lowly CSR on a text […]

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February 5, 2014

In this post, a blogger appears to have caught a Verizon customer service rep admitting that Verizon limits access to cloud services – like Amazon Web Services and Netflix – thus reducing bandwidth and functionality. Now, let’s take this with a grain of salt. How likely is it that a lowly CSR on a text chat is going to know what Verizon’s engineers are up to in the back room? Especially since this is probably being done on the down low and very hush-hush. But this is certainly something Verizon can do legally since they won a ruling back in January¬†declaring that they were not common carriers when it came to Internet service. So, basically, they can deliver to you web sites at varying speeds. In essence, a provider that pays Verizon more will have their site delivered to you faster. And those that don’t pay at all may never reach you at all. That Congressman that’s running for office in your district? He paid Verizon, so his web site is fast. That other guy who’s running against him? He doesn’t have deep pockets, so his web site loads very slowly. Get it? But there’s more! You want Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime? Verizon has the Platinum package! Don’t have the Platinum package? Then your web streaming is going to suck. That’s all totally legal now since a court ruled that the FCC doesn’t have the right to regulate ISPs like common carriers, thus there is no “net neutrality”. It’s a scary thing. Frankly, I feel that if ISPs aren’t common carriers, then they shouldn’t be protected by safe harbor regulations. That’s an even scarier prospect. That would make ISPs libel for anything a user does on their network. Download music illegally? Pirate a movie? Plan a bombing? They were using your network, Verizon, so you’re responsible… because you’re not a common carrier like the phone company which absolves them of all responsibility. It’s a draconian carrot-and-stick response to this court ruling, but ISPs can’t have their cake and eat it too. Common carrier or not? What’s it going to be?

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