Will Removal of Obama Net Neutrality Create Slower Internet and Higher Cost?
By: Sara Mayer, Xiro Xone News December 27, 2017 Updated: 2:55 PM PT
Net Neutrality was put in place by the Obama administration. It guaranteed certain protections that users had equal access to websites and services on the Internet and websites had equal access to you, the user. An example would be, if you wanted to go to Hulu you would simply go to Hulu and, if Hulu, wanted to market their products and services to you, they could. In 2014 President Obama said, “No service should be stuck in a 'slow lane' because it does not pay a fee.”
Now that Net Neutrality has been removed, your ISP (internet service provider) can force you to go to Netflix instead of Hulu. Your ISP, for a fee can give Netflix faster access to you, by forcing you to take a detour to Netflix, or block you from reaching Hulu, but allow you to proceed only, to Netflix.
Under the Trump administration, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to remove Net Neutrality protections, while consumer groups warned that, “internet users will be the losers.” Users will try to go to the website of their choice but their service provider can force them to the website they, prefer the user to view. Service providers will be able to force users to watch ads and other content the user may not want to view.
Imagine the Internet as a two-lane highway going in the same direction, a corporate lane that can be the provider or pay the provider a fee to dominate the corporate lane, and a user lane traveled by everyday Internet users who cannot afford to match fees paid by the corporation. The corporate lane is exclusive and will travel at a faster speed than the user lane. The corporate lane can force the user lane to make several detours whenever they wish, for as long as they wish. They can force the user lane to view multiple road signs (content), before reaching their destination, or force the user off the road, never reaching their destination but arriving at the destination chosen by whoever controls the corporate lane. Net neutrality prevented this from happening, but the FCC under the guidance of the Trump administration, voted to remove those protections.
When users experience slow internet traffic and have to pay higher rates for more speed, it will be faster than the slowest speed but it will never compare to the corporate speed, and it will not prevent users from a forced detour or being blocked from the website of a corporate competitor. This is just the tip of the iceberg of losing Net Neutrality.
A small business that may be of interest to the user will never be seen if they cannot compete by paying huge fees to travel the corporate lane. They need a fair and equal access to the Internet to be competitive. When there is no competition, prices will soar.
Critic of the removal of Net Neutrality fear that internet providers will start splitting services into packages not based on what users want, but based on what corporations paying fees to travel the corporate lane want. This means, instead of users going to the website of their choice, they will be forced to use the websites in the package they purchased. And if they want access to a website not included in the package, they will have to pay additional fees to access it. Think of a package that offers access to Facebook’s website but not Twitter, or a package with Soundcloud but not Spotify. Users will have to pay for the package to get Facebook and, an additional fee to get Twitter.
Some cable companies are already doing this to subscribers with their tier packages and it has created cable bills that are higher than much needed, utility bills.
Consumer groups, who consider themselves the protectors of free and fair Internet access, are warning Internet users that, prices will go up. Internet users, who may not understand the effect of the Trump Administration’s removal of Net Neutrality put in place by the Obama Administration, will suffer sticker shock. The cost to access the internet will increase, speed will decrease, and big corporations, advertisers, and internet service providers will control what content users view, no matter how many times they try to click away to something else.