Coming to us from the “did-you-really-expect-a-different-outcome” department, we bring you the latest news regarding (and probably the last nail in the coffin for) net neutrality in the USA.
Why should you care? Very good question.
Right now, you want to use Netflix. You pay Netflix for the service. You pay your ISP for the internet connection to get you access to Netflix. Netflix doesn’t pay your ISP anything, because they pay their own provider for access to the internet (peering connections aside). Now, your ISP can come out with a competing video service (which is a good thing) and prioritize the traffic over Netflix (this is BAD) unless Netflix chalks up money to your ISP (this is VERY bad). That means unless Netflix is willing to pay more for the access they used to have then their services can be treated like 3rd-class traffic. Like your HD movie streaming? Good luck when it’s set to bulk and given the lowest priority on the internet.
Why is it also bad? Do you do ANY torrenting? Guess what. Your ISP can say all torrent traffic is de-prioritized and controlled to be slower than molasses. Why is this bad? Do you play an MMO like World of Warcraft? Do you know how you get your patches? Guess what. It’s a torrent. Do you download Linux distributions? Guess what, you’re probably using a torrent. Do you pirate shit (please don’t)? Guess what? Good bye to that traffic.
Doing protesting? Trying to get a grass roots campaign together? The provider doesn’t like your opinion? Your traffic can disappear off the internet.
I cannot overstate this: this is very bad news for the Internet. Very, very bad.
But really, we all knew it was coming. The telecommunications lobby is incredibly powerful. Their lobbyists have incredibly deep pockets and they have the attention of those judges.