The free internet as it currently stands is about to end, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission's vote to end net neutrality. Today, the FCC voted to abolish net neutrality rules, which allowed equal opportunity viewership and speed for all websites. Now, we're going to be looking at data caps, “free” data for apps, and service bundling.
These little schemes will add up over time as ISPs merge with more media companies and own more content. These mergers will create huge conflicts of interest, because companies that own access to the internet will be incentivized to rig it in favor of their own shows and services. The internet will be a pawn between companies that want to promote sites that their subsidiaries own. Net neutrality regulations kept ISPs from the worst possible discriminatory behaviors, including paid prioritization, throttling traffic, and blocking websites or services completely.
Now, the one thing protecting us from this happening is gone, and something needs to be done to stop this.
This is what New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman thinks, too. He announced today moments after the FCC ruling that he is suing to block the end of net neutrality rules.
“The FCC just gave Big Telecom an early Christmas present, by giving internet service providers yet another way to put corporate profits over consumers...Today’s new rule would enable ISPs to charge consumers more to access sites like Facebook and Twitter and give them the leverage to degrade [the] high quality of video streaming until and unless somebody pays them more money. Even worse, today’s vote would enable ISPs to favor certain viewpoints over others,” Schneiderman argued in a statement on the decision.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson also announced that he would sue to block the end of net neutrality rules on Thursday, releasing a similar statement.
Lets hope these Attorney Generals can help right this wrong!