Can you imagine the internet being priced like a cable TV package? Let’s say you want to keep using Google. Or Facebook. Or Netflix. Would you be happy if your Internet provider wanted to charge you $50 a month for each of them?
That could happen if the FCC succeeds. Driven by overwhelming greed and less than no concern for average Americans, the FCC just took the first step to canceling Net Neutrality.
One of the likely scenarios is that big Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Time Warner, ATT, Verizon, Fios, Charter, etc. will be able to price your internet access like they do cable TV, with tiers.
Jeez, they must be salivating.
More money for them, less for you. I mean, if you’re the CEO of Charter, you’re barely scraping by on $98 million a year.
Want access to your WordPress blog? Maybe you’ll be told you have to upgrade to Tier 2! Fifty extra bucks a month, honey. (But it’ll be worth it, because they’ll bundle it with Candy Crush Unlimited and reruns of Real Housewives.)
This would apply to phone apps, too. You know how you’ve come to rely on GPS in your car? How would you like it if Verizon decided that’s Tier 3, an extra $75 a month?
Oh, hell yes, they can! These are all likely scenarios if Net Neutrality is rolled back. Unless we all yell to the rooftops.
This matter seemed to be settled a while back but under the new administration (“Looking out for the little guy”) it’s open season again.
This is going in the wrong direction! Many rural areas have no internet, or inadequate internet. With reasonably priced, wide-open internet, a woman in Appalachia might sell her crafts online and make a few extra bucks. Or a disabled or housebound person might attend online classes, or receive the benefit of remote medicine. Isn’t that more important than squeezing the little guy more? We need to expand access and cut the cost, not make it harder to get!
I’m so upset about this. (Can you tell?) I had a wonderful, uplifting, happy, empowering blog post to share with you but now it just doesn’t seem important.
Because if I have to pay to blog, I probably won’t. And you wouldn’t pay to read it anyway. Maybe that’s Jane Q. Citizen’s ace in the hole: if we have to pay to use Facebook, we’ll drift away, and FB will cease to exist. So maybe big web companies like FB will fight for us. Right.
But what about all the little business people who have websites and depend on traffic to make a buck? They can’t afford to pay more…or may choose not to. I know a lot of “mommy bloggers” who blog about domestic issues, making their blogs so useful and helpful that they can actually earn money from ads placed on their sites.
Goodbye to all that, as well.
The new director of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is, like so many Trump appointees, hostile to the mission of the agency he was chosen to lead. He moved quickly to start this effort to dismantle consumer protections.
If you have a chance, please learn about this, talk it up, share, and object. This is yet one more area where we need to stand together for the common good. Common as in anybody not making $98 million a year from bleeding the little guy.
Here are some articles about it: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/18/528941897/fcc-votes-to-begin-rollback-of-net-neutrality-regulations
And now, back to our regular programming. For as long as it lasts.