Net Neutrality Could Hinder Binge-Watchers

Net Neutrality Could Hinder Binge-Watchers

The future 'looks bleak' for net neutrality, some experts suggest.

Though most may be unaware of net neutrality, its existence impacts any person who uses the internet. Photo via Pixabay.

The net neutrality conversation is back on the scene, this time from the new Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai.

Two years ago, Congress approved net neutrality to the United States. Net neutrality requires internet service providers to make it equal for every U.S. citizen to benefit from high-speed internet, instead of paying for faster service.

Net neutrality as we know it is in danger under the new FCC Chairman Pai, who wants to completely restructure the current bill.

The FCC explained that the restructure would help all providers gain a similar advantage in the broadband market.

“The action from these internet services is the only thing I can’t deal with because of my job requiring it and I do not know what I would do if it slowed down.”  Oklahoma resident Chris Jackson said.

Net neutrality allows citizens to include high speed internet as part of their utility bill. It is supposed to go in effect in 2018, despite the Republicans rejecting the original proposal in 2014, according to Wall Street Journal.

The argument on the FCC’s side is that the market would become unfair for the startup companies competing with AT&T and Verizon with zero-rating publicity. The zero-rating policy, according to Fortune.com, gives the consumer a chance to use the streaming service of AT&T’s DirecTV or Verizon’s Binge On and use up no data as a form of competing with the small startup competition.

“This new net neutrality approach is demoralizing in not only entertainment but as well as news websites,” UCO student Ellen Welander said.

Snapchat had to invest $25 million dollars to compete with the free data that AT&T and Verizon served. Investigations into the companies for their unfair market advantage began two months ago, before the FCC dropped the investigation, according to WallStreetJournal.com.

Facebook recently had a proposal for free limited internet called FreeBasics in India, but it was denied because it provided a net neutrality dilemma in which the poorer citizens of the nation would be exposed to the limited internet, but would be bombarded with advertisements.

FreeBasics is currently operating in 38 countries, including Indonesia and the Phillipines, according to The New York Times.

The impact on UCO students goes further than being monitored by huge companies when taking advantage of “free” services. According to Slate.com, Facebook uses a database algorithm that allows free service to users in exchange for selling their identities and cookies to advertisers, usually without the knowledge of the user.

“The future looks bleak for smaller companies if that is what the current FCC Chairman is preaching about,” chair of UCO’s Association for Computing Machinery Caleb Power said.

This type of action from the cancelled net neutrality would allow Comcast and Time Warner to grapple with the service providers by slowing internet and charging regular consumers for faster internet with almost no filter, according to TheHill.com.

Time Warner Cable is currently facing a lawsuit by the Netflix and Riot Games f0r violating the current the net neutrality bill in which they purposely advertised their internet speed for these services before slowing down intentionally for negotiation purposes, as reported by Polygon.

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