Tell Congress to Save Net NeutralityLearn More About Net Neutrality
"For example, they [telecom companies] could distinguish their own content from that of other speakers or offer that capability to others. In fact, some types of speech, such as live streaming high-definition video, could benefit from (or may only be available with) differential treatment, such as prioritization. Broadband providers could also give differential pricing or priority access to their over-the-top video services or other applications they provide, or otherwise feature that content."That sounds easy enough. In fact, for wireless services, it's happening already. Both Verizon and AT&T want to implement plans that would allow deep-pocketed app developers to pay for access to their networks, leaving smaller players out. AT&T is making noises about charging for specific uses, like Apple's FaceTime. Verizon and AT&T wanted to block Google Wallet while developing their own payment app, Isis which, conveniently, has more retail partners than Google has been able to garner. It's not just the big guys. MetroPCS will allow some applications to some customers and not others based on the plans they buy. Let's not get started on the potential abuse from the caps the companies put on the "use" of data from video and other apps. Why? Because they can. Because those who hate government don't want the government interfering. Because this government won't interfere. Because there's not sufficient competition to curb the anticompetitive urges. Again, that's a failure of government. Meanwhile, every study, including this latest one, finds Americans paying more for slower Internet access than in comparable places in other countries. Telephone companies want to abandon their once-sacred responsibility of serving everyone at reasonable rates, to be replaced by serving those who can afford unreasonable rates with wireless service. At the end of the day, the answer to the question of which part of society should censor the Internet is: neither government nor industry. We said it was a trick question. Both institutions can be equally dangerous to Internet users, but only one has the capacity to be a guarantor of rights if it so chooses. The IDL had better have some spare bulbs for the Catsignal. Looks like they will need plenty.