The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order from 2010 that forced Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable to abide by the principles of network neutrality.
“Net Neutrality” sounds like something that you are supposed to care about but don’t actually because it seems confusing and TOO REAL to acknowledge. Well, I am going to break it down for you because shit is about to get real on the internet. I am talking about how all those episodes of Pretty Little Liars you’ve been illegally streaming may disappear.
So let’s get cracking.
WTF is “Net Neutrality”?
Net Neutrality requires all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or basically the company providing you the internet (Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable) unable to discriminate against websites they don’t like or favor sites they do like. OK, now, what does THAT mean? It means that, for example, if Verizon is a partner with Fox News they’ll want to favor Fox News’ website meaning it will load faster than a competitor’s, like let’s say, CNN, for no reason other than favoritism. What it also means is that the ISP can completely slow down or block other websites that they just don’t like.
But What About My Illegal Downloads and Streaming?
That’s up in the air. Obviously it’s illegal to download or stream television, movies and music because of complicated and arguably unjust laws about intellectual property rights. ISPs may decide they want nothing to do with that and completely block all of your favorite websites for nefarious internet dealings.
They Will Kill All Your Future Faves
Now ISPs can force websites to pay for faster loading times. Let’s say a site you like, maybe CollegeCandy.com, which certainly isn’t a multimillion dollar corporation can’t afford to pay those fees, well it, and small sites like it, will suffer the consequences of having a website look much crappier than it actually is. This is a way to play favorites to big businesses who can afford to pay for faster websites and will shift all that slow loading to smaller operations. How’s your blog ever going to blow up if no one can actually see it because it takes 1 minute to load? And we thought we were passed the days of dial up.
What does this all mean?
It means capitalism once again is shitting all over the little guy in favor of big businesses. It means even the internet can become a class and political system of endless bullshit. Smaller sites will begin to disappear, they’ll be squeezed out because they can no longer afford to “pay their rent” on the internet. Big businesses will continue to grow even bigger and people will have no choice but to support corporations they don’t like because those are the only available options. Welcome to America!