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“While the network neutrality debate in Washington has focused on what actions a broadband access provider might take to filter, prioritize or manage content requested by its subscribers, Comcast’s decision goes well beyond this. With this action, Comcast is preventing competing content from ever being delivered to Comcast’s subscribers at all, unless Comcast’s unilaterally-determined toll is paid – even though Comcast’s subscribers requested the content. With this action, Comcast demonstrates the risk of a ‘closed’ Internet, where a retail broadband Internet access provider decides whether and how their subscribers interact with content.”
link: Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcast’s Actions | Business Wire
This is a quote from a online article written by Level 3 a tier 1 Internet providers. Who is complaining because Comcast is charging a recurring fee for transmitting online movies and other content to Comcast customers. One of Level 3 main customers is Netflix who is a competes with Comcast on Demand Movie service and Xfinity. As a Comcast customer this behavior is not surprising. Unfortunately this is what happens when the company that owns the pipes also owns content. If Level 3 hadn’t agree to pay I may have been unable to get Netflix streaming even though I had paid for it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Comcast tries to do the same thing to other companies who carry video such as Google, Amazon, Apple. The only thing that maybe stopping them is that they are trying to get the FCC to approve their merger with NBC.
As more and more people start to stream video from the Internet and it becomes a bigger competitor to traditional media. I suspect that this kind of action will be more common. Old media will try anything it can to hold on to its territory anyway its can. The FCC needs to hurry up and make their ruling on Net Neutrality. For a long time the argument about net neutrality was an academic one, but now with actions like this its is becomes a real world problem. Just another reason to dislike Comcast.
AT&T loves their double-speak and “we know what’s best for everyone” attitude. Whenever they get the chance, they trot out that same old tired argument about how they must have control over network traffic in order to “manage” it.
We all know who they are “managing” it for, and we all know that “management” will not have benefits for the end-user in any way that counts. What AT&T wants to do, just like other big providers, is sign contracts for traffic shaping that will benefit their bottom line. The end user, people like me who are using high-speed home broadband, will not gain anything from these agreements but limited access to an Internet right now that is unlimited. Who needs net neutrality? The end users do, and I hope we can continue the fight to get it.
Here in Missouri, Dave Nichols, the president of Missouri AT&T misses few opportunities to push his “vision” of a world without a net neutrality regulation in place, using the same old arguments that all of us can see through. He recently trotted his arguments through the newsroom of our local newspaper. It is the same stuff we hear all over the country, and we don’t believe it any better just because he’s a local guy.
This isn’t about how much money AT&T (or other providers) have spent on infrastructure or backbone (another argument AT&T likes to make). This is strictly about how much AT&T can pad their own bottom line. Agreements these huge providers make with large companies providing content is nothing more than censorship, in my opinion, and will lead to limited Internet access for many people. You’ll be able to hit the big sites easily, but anyone who can’t afford to pay AT&T and other big providers for the “privilege” of having their content available will be left out in the cold.
Unless net neutrality can become a reality, the AT&T’s of the world will have us by the ears and we will not be able to do anything about it.