Comcast fought the last net neutrality regulation in 2015 by making a bunch of promises about how fair it would be, whether or not the FCC regulated its behavior; this week, Comcast has put on charm offensive by repeating all but one of those promises, namely, its promise not to create internet slow lanes and then extort money from web publishers by threatening to put them there unless they paid for "premium access" to the Comcast subscribers who were trying to retrieve data from them.
That promise was live on Comcast's website until April 26, 2017, but on that day, it disappeared.
By an amazing coincidence, that's the very same day that telcoms-lobbyist-turned-FCC-Chairman Ajit Pai announced his plan to kill net neutrality.
When asked to explain what "anti-competitive paid prioritization" is, the Comcast spokesperson yesterday said that zero-rating arrangements would not be anti-competitive. "See what the wireless companies have done with exempting streaming video from their internet data caps. That's procompetitive," Fitzmaurice wrote on Twitter.
To be clear, zero-rating is treated separately from paid prioritization in the FCC's rules. Zero-rating exempts certain content from data caps but doesn't speed it up relative to other content.
Under the FCC's previous Democratic leadership, the net neutrality rules allowed ISPs to implement zero-rating, but with some exceptions. Under its new Republican leadership, the FCC has allowed all manner of zero-rating. With the net neutrality rules eliminated, Comcast would be able to charge online providers for data cap exemptions without any fear of punishment from the FCC.
But the question of whether paid prioritization is "anti-competitive" or "pro-competitive" may be moot. Pai's plan will eliminate the ban on paid prioritization altogether.
Comcast deleted net neutrality pledge the same day FCC announced repeal
[Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]
From the Open Markets Institute's Mat Stoller and Austin Frederick, who analyzed the FTC's panel, "The Current Economic Understanding of Multi-Sided Platforms," in which economic experts told the regulator that Big Tech's monopoly power just isn't a problem: "every single economist testifying on the issue of corporate concentration derived income, directly or indirectly, from large […]
A batch of internal Harvard admission-related emails have come into the public domain as part of a lawsuit alleging that Harvard discriminates against Asian applicants, and they reveal that the admissions process is tilted in favor of members of families who are major donors to Harvard.
Facebook is the poster-child for the techlash, the worst offender in the monopolistic bunch, and recent books like Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan (previously) and Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier present variations on the main critiques of Facebook with some […]
Speed reading isn’t just an innate skill possessed by a lucky few. Anyone can learn to speed read, and the benefits are endless. The brain can process more information than most people have time to soak up, but you can make that time now with the 2018 Award-Winning Speed Reading Bundle. The first half of […]
Sure, you could use the same old PowerPoint templates for your next business presentation. It’s not like you have bosses or investors to impress. Oh wait, you do? Time to augment that slideshow with Slideshop – the presentation tool that can individualize your pitch while saving you time. Compatible with PowerPoint, Keynote and Google Slides, […]
Multinational companies have used the no-nonsense methodologies of Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma to oil a smooth-running operation for years. What is it? Six Sigma (and its offshoot, Lean Six Sigma) apply the principles of science to business, teaching managers to methodically target waste, maximize output and streamline the flow from producer to consumer. […]