Chris J Powell

Is Net Neutrality just a Fallacy in 2014?

I am lucky to have found an ISP that does not charge for overages on my bandwidth.  This give me a lot of freedom when it comes to downloading things and watching NetFlix and Streaming Video or listening to Streaming Audio.  I get great speeds and don’t have to worry about watching out for “the man” and how much I actually do download.  But the amount of Downloading that I do is really irrelevant when it comes to what the Interwebz is becoming.


Back in February, the Video Streaming King Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for unrestricted (ie no more throttling back on bandwidth) but is this not akin to black mail and extortion?  Does this not open the door for every ISP out there to demand from any major bandwidth player (Pandora, Rdio, YouTube, XBox Live etc) to pay for the right to play on their Network?  Considering for the most part that these ISPs generally have at least a partial block on any other companies coming in and competing against them (Telco’s own the phone lines and Cable Companies own the cable lines) how can this be possible or legal?

Sure Netflix uses almost 1/3 of the total Downstream Bandwidth (especially in the evening) but what will the future really look like?  Will we have to choose from our ISP what potential Services we may want to have access to?  This 2009 image from lays it out in an interesting way as the Internet Service Providers see this as a battle for their investment…and they either go after the users of the services…or the services themselves:

net neutrality

As a Canadian, I pay a fair price for the Internet Service that I have access to but will this future change how I am allowed to access the content that I want?  Will there be restrictions on what I am allowed to look at, view and download?  In 2011 the CRTC released a report on the Price Comparisons of Global Wireline Services (ie Cable and DSL internet) and while I was surprised how we compare to other countries…I look around at the global marketplace and see more and more consolidation and mergers and wonder when this will start to come back to hit us in the pocket book…and it looks like it will be starting soon…Netflix is increasing its pricing by $1-2 per month I wonder if this is to pay off the Telco and Cable Barons?

I am really thinking that living off the grid for a while might not be a bad idea.  Would my head explode without the constant interaction with all the information?



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