Comcast Hints at Restricting Internet Access After Net Neutrality Ends


The conversation surrounding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) potentially abandoning the Obama administration era Net Neutrality is reaching YTK bug levels of hysteria, and perhaps rightly so.

On Dec. 14th, the FCC is expected to make a decision. People in favor of ending Net Neutrality argue that the free markets and unfettered capitalism are what America is built upon. Opponents to ending Net Neutrality claim it will be the end of the internet as we know it and that giant conglomerates such as Comcast and AT&T will slow down (and essentially block) online services and websites unless users cough up the extra money. Even worse, these conglomerates could potentially use these powers to ramp up their war on conservative media and the access of truth.

One of the largest internet search providers (ISP), Comcast, has promised to not change their services even if Net Neutrality is no longer enforced.

This was one of the ways in which Comcast argued that the Federal Communications Commission should not reclassify broadband providers as common carriers, a designation that forces ISPs to treat customers fairly in other ways. The Title II common carrier classification that makes net neutrality rules enforceable isn't necessary because ISPs won't violate net neutrality principles anyway, Comcast and other ISPs have claimed.

Comcast has argued that Net Neutrality is pointless as they follow the rules anyway, but then why lobby to have it revoked?

Well… with the “prize” ending Net Neutrality now is sight, Comcast seems to be singing a different tune.

Instead, Comcast now vaguely says that it won't “discriminate against lawful content” or impose “anti-competitive paid prioritization.” The change in wording suggests that Comcast may offer paid fast lanes to websites or other online services, such as video streaming providers, after Pai's FCC eliminates the net neutrality rules next month.

With no FCC rules against paid fast lanes, it would be up to Comcast to decide whether any specific prioritization deal is “anti-competitive before implementing it. Pai argues that the Federal Trade Commission and other antitrust authorities would take over regulation in this area, and the FTC could attempt to stop specific deals after they are put into place. But the FTC's enforcement powers are limited

I don't trust Comcast. But, I do get capitalism. Therein lies the problem.

What is the line between allowing Capitalism to flourish and watching out for the little guys?

Source: ARS Technica

Image: Wikicommons



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