Home > Uncategorized > That Sucking Sound is Money Being Siphoned to Telecoms…

That Sucking Sound is Money Being Siphoned to Telecoms…

January 23, 2017

I am saddened but not surprised to read last week’s Daily Kos article by Dartagnan describing Donald Trump’s nominee to the FCC and his likely decision to suspend all of the open internet rules made during the Obama administration. In the article, Dartagnan does a good job of summarizing the first order impact of the likely decision to allow the establishment of higher cost “fast lanes”, which is a fattening of the bottom line of Telecoms and maybe some websites:

First off, the web could get more expensive. The impact on the average Internet user will likely not be felt right away. But over time, websites would probably pass on to consumers the costs of paying for high-speed access, according to Harold Feld, a senior vice president at the consumer group Public Knowledge.

In addition, it could become difficult to view certain websites owned by companies that can’t afford to pay for access to an Internet fast lane, Feld said.

On top of Internet users potentially paying more, they would also be more confused, Feld said. Under the proposed rules, people would need to make sense of a fragmented Internet landscape where the time it takes to load an online video would depend on whether that website paid extra to their Internet provider. Consumers may start choosing their Internet providers based on which websites they like to visit.

But the second order impact is even worse: the establishment of two lanes necessarily means low income families will be in the slow lane and will not have access to the same websites as wealthy families. This will widen the digital divide even more, make it even more difficult for schools to use technology to help crete more equity in learning opportunities, and thus make social mobility even more difficult. I can only hope that those who voted for Mr. Trump are able to see the connection between their votes for him and the jump in the cost of the data plans on their cell phones and cable connections.

  1. January 23, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    in theory, im all for net neutrality. i dont get why the head of the fcc is a guy from the telecom industry– qualified? likely. trustworthy? (?????)

    for me, its not a questino of net neutrality (an obvious yes) vs. not. its a question of the fccs net neutrality laws, or not. do i trust the fcc to get it right? i really dont know. if this were 1977, then yes! the telecom laws were truly pro-consumer then. thats why i dont like cable– unlike dsl, theyre immune to 1970s telecom laws, and you can tell. fiber? another kettle of fish entirely. (wireless? more like wire-we-even-doing-this?)

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