Cable companies are dinosaurs. Why pay around $100 a month for TV shows and movies when Netflix is $7.99 a month? However, these monsters are not going down without a fight. Instead of being content with providing Internet access to millions of people, there’s a push to double charge for the delivery of Internet data. Comcast recently struck a deal with Netflix to create a fast lane. This is directly against the notion of Net Neutrality, as the Internet is meant to have only one speed – all data should be promptly delivered without discrimination.
Sure, Netflix consumes an insane amount of data. This does put the cable companies in an awkward position. They basically have to assist one of their greatest competitors. However, that shouldn’t be my problem. While I’m not paying for Cable TV, I’m paying for broadband Internet access through Time Warner Cable. The bill has been insane. In the last five years, the price has been increased SEVEN TIMES! At its highest, the monthly bill went from $14.95 to $59.77. That’s a 300% increase. Frustrated with the rising bill, I lowered the speed to the slowest available for current subscribers – 3Mbps download / 1Mbps upload. I even bought my own cable modem. The bill briefly dropped to $44.95, but quickly jumped up to $47.99.
Does the United States of America want to entrust the future of the Internet to monopolies and duopolies? Comcast is looking to buy Time Warner Cable. That means my only other choice for broadband Internet would be Verizon – the company ranked #1 on my most hated list. These are companies that are often spoken with scorn. The speeds in my area (which is in NYC) are pathetic when compared to what’s available. The city of Chattanooga, Tennessee took matters into their own hands. Now they enjoy Gigabit speeds. That’s over 300 times faster than my current Internet connection.
The FCC recently voted to move forward with Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal – a plan that would erode Net Neutrality. He was the President and CEO of the National Cable Television Association. That’s a precarious position for a man who is charged with protecting the interests of the public.
There’s an old saying, “Freedom of the press belongs to those that own one.” With the Internet, anyone can get their message out there. But if Net Neutrality is broken, such a freedom could be lost. If the Internet becomes pay to play, it could hurt citizens and businesses alike. If a cable company can decide what data should be delivered first, that’s a form of censorship. That is un-American. It also appears to be another sneaky trick by the cable companies. It’s not enough to price gouge customers, now Internet Service Providers want to double-dip by charging content providers too? That’s unacceptable! The pushback has begun – and rightfully so. Citizens and businesses alike understand that Net Neutrality protects the Internet. This is a defining moment of the digital age.