Verizon wants to slow down your favorite websites unless they pay bribes

Robbo sez, "Alternet reports on Verizon's stated plan to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet Order and charge selective tolls for access to internet content."

At its core Verizon's attack on the FCC is an attack on the idea that regulators have any role to ensure affordable access to an open Internet. Now more than ever we need policies to protect consumers and users of all communications. And as all media converges on digital networks that means policies that protect Net Neutrality.

While Verizon and other ISPs are already raking in immense profits from connecting users to the Internet, they see even higher margins in being able to tell us where to go once we're online. By charging a premium so wealthy businesses can jump to the front of the line, they're playing a game with data delivery that would shove all other sites to the back.

"I think the people who talk about dismantling -- threatening -- Net Neutrality don't appreciate how important it has been for us to have an independent market for productivity and for applications on the Internet," World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said.

Verizon's Outrageous Plot to Crack Up the Internet (Thanks, Robbo!)

Notable Replies

  1. I'd be willing to consider letting them start charging by kind of traffic when they start charging text messages by their actual traffic load -- ie, some invisibly small fraction of a cent per SMS packet.

  2. I'm guessing you're going to get lots of good answers to your question, but here's just a few points that come immediately to mind:

    • Data passing through a cable doesn't damage the cable like a truck does a road.

    • There's no evidence of a lack of network capacity, even with YouTube and Netflix. (There might be such a lack, but if there is the ISPs aren't willing to prove it.)

    • Not withstanding the first two points, Verizon isn't saying they're going to charge high-bandwidth producers, although they might like us to assume that they are. I'm guessing they're planning on charging whomever they think has the cash to pay. If they can throttle throughput, they can just as well increase latency. New York Times loading slow for you? Maybe they forgot to pay their Verizon transport surcharge.

  3. Remember that bit recently about CBS and Time Warner, where they couldn't agree on a price that Time Warner should pay CBS? And there was a blackout for 30 days or so while they worked out details as to how much Time Warner gets from their customers and how much CBS would get from that and how long that deal would last?

    And you know how cable companies charge a lot of money every month because they have 300 channels, ten of which most people watch?

    That's basically what net neutrality is designed to prevent. That Boing Boing is as accessible in Kansas as it is in Florida. That Boing Boing's data packets are given equal weight as CBS News' data packets no matter who you are or who your ISP is.

    If Verizon is allowed to direct you to "better" data then you, the customer, have lost out on your choice. Like Vimeo? Use Vimeo. Like YouTube? Use YouTube. Don't allow your ISP to choose which video hosting service you use just because they made a deal that makes them more money, the better service and less cost isn't going to trickle down to users.

  4. akp says:

    I think one major point you're neglecting is that the customers are paying the ISP (Verizon, in this case) for Internet access. Netflix, YouTube, etc., are all paying their Internet providers for Internet access. Nobody is getting anything for free.

    Here's an example to contradict your truck example. You have a private mailbox at a store that doesn't care what package carrier you use. That mailbox costs you a monthly sum to maintain, and in return you get an address, someone to receive your packages, etc.

    Now I want to ship a package to you. I choose UPS and pay them to have the package delivered to your mailbox. Once the package reaches the store, the owner of said store decides that, even though you've paid for your mailbox, they're not going to deliver the package to you unless I (the sender) pay them directly. Nevermind that you've already paid for the mailbox, and I've paid for the cost of transporting the package to their door, they feel they deserve additional money from me to give you the package, even though the only reason you have the mailbox in the first place is to receive mail.

    That is exactly what Verizon is trying to do.

  5. Data passing through a cable doesn't damage the cable like a truck does a road.

Continue the discussion

49 more replies