A World Without Net Neutrality

Until yesterday were the good times when ISPsand telcos were mandated to treat all web traffic equally. They were not allowed to discriminate between users based on the type of content they want to access. If a user wanted to read the Wall Street Journal, and another user wanted to stream the latest TV show on Netflix, both would get the same speeds.

The FCC voting which has repealed Net Neutrality has already begun to change the dynamics of the internet as we know it. Now, the ISPs and telcos will be able to mint extra money by charging users based on their exclusive preferences.

Telcos, such as Verizon, Comcast, and At&T, believe that if a user wants to read the news only, and that too from a website that is owned by the respective telcos, he should be able to do it without any additional charges. But if it wants to access, let's say, a streaming website to watch his favorite show in HD, he should be over-charged or routed to a data tunnel that provides slow speeds.


Related: How To Avoid Post-Net Neutrality Repeal Era Issues?


What is the official Stance of Comcast on Net Neutrality

A few days ago, Comcast's website contained more clauses for protecting Net Neutrality. Here is what it looked like.

Today, it has struck off a few clauses. In the future, there may be no clauses at all for protecting Net Neutrality. The worst part is that it is already too late to raise our voices as Net Neutrality has been repealed.

Comcast webpage

Even though, when Comcast's website had all five clauses for protecting Net Neutrality, it was actively campaigning along with many other telcos along with FCC to abolish Net Neutrality. Just a few days agi, news surfaced about their alleged partnership for abolishing net neutrality.

FCC has changed its stance on Net Neutrality, a bit too dramatically over the last week. Initially, it was debating if Net Neutrality should stay or go. However, it is now pulling of bizarre stunts to show users that internet would still be great without Net Neutrality.

Why is Comcast against Net Neutrality?

Like other ISPs and telecom providers, such as Verizon and AT&T, Comcast wants the Congress to vote in the favor of repealing Net Neutrality. There is a very high chance that the Congress will vote in favor of telecoms and ISPs. This is partly because of FCC’s active campaigning against Net Neutrality, and in part because of the alleged $101 million received as donation by all of the 535 congress members.

Understanding why Comcast is throttling the internet is simple enough. Once the Net Neutrality rules are abolished, the internet would become something like the current-day cable TV network, which can decide what the customers can watch and for how much.

FCC Chainman, Ajit Pai’s proposal to the Congress demands that the Congress change the dynamics of the modern internet as we know it. This free and open service which benefits millions of people every day will be converted into a government regulated utility, such as gas and electricity.

Moreover, with Net Neutrality gone, ISPs and telcos will be able to make more money from their customers. For instance, a user who wants to read the news only can do so with the normal subscription fee. But if the same user wants to enjoy high-speed streaming, as well as social media sites, he may end up paying as much as $30 extra!

Now That Net Neutrality Is Gone, What Will Change?

The cyberspace will change drastically. Prices that users are required to pay will most probably soar, and it will put the government and ISPs in a position to conduct mass surveillance at a much grand scale as compared to their current methods. To understand more, check out this amazing video by Tech Insider.

In simple, the download speeds would drop. The amount of content that users would be allowed to access will become much more limited. On the contrary, users would see more of sponsored content and very little of relevant or preferred content. This means that up to 50% of online content that a user will have access to will include ads, popups, spam emails and messages.

What Are People Saying About It?

Currently, there is a huge outcry against the repealed of Net Neutrality at every other website, public forum and social media platform. The end users are furious and are raising their voices in every possible way, in a bid to get themselves heard.

 

Unfortunately, the number of people who are aware of the net neutrality issue is far less as compared to the online users that are still in the dark. This means that if not everyone raises their voices, Net Neutrality may soon become history. 

Users from around the world are using Twitter and Facebook to spread awareness among their social circles about the importance of Net Neutrality and how everyone should play an active role in retaining it. Even the big companies like Netflix and tech giants like Steve Wozniak and Mark Zuckerberg have raised their voices. 

What Can You Do to Keep the Internet Free and Open?

There are countless movements taking place online, as well as on the streets which you can join to raise your voice. The online movements require you to sign petitions that demand Congress to vote in the favor of Net Neutrality. Meanwhile, other forms of activism that users in favor of Net Neutrality can practice include making calls and sending messages to the senators and FCC.

Here are the online petitions:

THE ACTION NETWORK

BATTLE FOR THE NET

SIGN FOR GOOD

WE THE PEOPLE

Bilal Khalid likes to channel his positivity to make the internet a safe place for humans. He spends his leisure time following his favorite sports and TV shows, loves tech, and tweets @bilalistein.

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