Net Neutrality – Be Concerned

Recently, the courts favored Comcast in a battle against the FCC over Net Neutrality.  It came as a blow to many folks, including myself.  The issue was that Comcast was trying to govern how their Internet access should be used concerning Torrents.  Basically, they didn’t like the idea of people accessing and using torrents with their service so they attempted to block it.  The FCC stepped in and told them to knock it off and the court battle ensued.  Comcast won leaving a lot of people wondering what more could come from this.  Well, it is something we might want to pay attention to.

In case you don’t understand what Net Neutrality is (and there are different variations of the phrase.)  Net Neutrality is basically the idea that you pay for your Internet service and you should have access to all the content that the Internet has to offer.  There should be no restrictions to content and everything should be treated equally.  However, with the recent Comcast ruling, the idea has raised a few eyebrows and put a little concern in the hearts of those who enjoy their ability to access all of the fruits of our loveable Internet.

Why should you be concerned?

Sometimes these ideas carry the snowball effect.  Sure, it might seem like just a little nuisance right now, but before you know it, other companies are jumping on the idea.  Then you have a lot of services blocked and Net Neutrality was just a thing of the past.  While a lot of people may sit there and say, “It’s only torrents.  I don’t use them, who cares?”  That’s such a bad outlook.  Sure, torrents are used a lot for file sharing many things including pirated software, but they do offer other things.  A lot of people use torrents for completely legal things such as sharing Linux distros, game updates or patches, or even free games or applications.  It’s just a way to spread data and information to the masses in a relatively simple method.  Most anything has its good and bad sides, but does that mean it should be taken away because a company has a hissy fit over it?  Doubtful.

That’s fine though if you don’t use torrents, until it hits something that you do use on a daily basis.  What if they start blocking certain websites or things that some people enjoy on a regular basis even though others don’t?  In a way, it is a type of discrimination.  But let’s take that a step further.  What if they start structuring their services in a pay to use format?  Maybe you pay $30 a month for Internet usage, but that Internet usage does not allow you the right to access certain services.  But if you move up to a $50 a month service, you now have more access.  This is something to heavily consider because it could happen.  We see things like this all the time.  You pay so much for your cable every month.  But if you want more then you better be ready to pay more money for more channel access.  Is it starting to sink in?  Yes, those are completely different things to an extent, but they do follow a similar idea.  You want more?  You pay more.  And there lies the problem with a lack of Net Neutrality.

If the courts carry on this way, and the companies are allowed to dictate the type of access you should get, then we could very well be headed into that type of scenario.  I don’t know about you, but I like my Net Neutrality.  I like the idea that I pay to access the Internet and I am allowed to access everything that is involved with the Internet.  There will always be a good and a bad with everything – Everything.  But that doesn’t mean that everything that has some bad potential should be blocked.  These things also carry good potential and to disallow that, is a shame really.  But we live in a world where we tend to just focus on the bad parts and that is something that needs to change.  It’s the responsibility of the end user to figure out how they want to use their access to the Internet and the services they decide to use or abuse.  Systems are in place to counteract certain situations and problems, but don’t take away our privileges to make up our own minds on what we choose to do.  You’re not my big brother, so don’t act like it. 

But let’s not get carried away just yet.  All of this could be a moot point and the FCC is still going to fight for Net Neutrality.  Anything I stated above might just be an overreaction and nothing major will come from it.  After all, would you want to pay for a service that is crippled?  In the end, it is us consumers that need to make up our mind if it ever gets out of hand.  And where are the companies at when no one is using their products or services?  But the fact is the snowball effect is in place.

Save the Internet


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