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Net Neutrality and Internet access

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 - General

In the US, the FCC is waging a war against Net Neutrality. On December 14th, the FCC is going to vote on how to classify Internet Service, which can lead to an end to Net Neutrality.

What is Net Neutrality?
Basically Net Neutrality is a set of rules that says Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can’t purposefully give one connection more priority over another connection. In layman’s terms it means that ISPs can’t intentionally throttle a connection to NetFlix while not throttling a connection to DirecTV Now.

What does this mean for you?
As more and more users “cut the cord” with their television viewing habits, a lot of people are replacing that with subscriptions to various video streaming services – NetFlix, Amazon Video, Hulu, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Playstation Vue, etc. This is all due to the high carriage fees that TV providers have to pay in order to show content from your favorite TV networks. But those fees are never made public, so it’s entirely possible for TV providers to increase prices during these carriage disputes and pocket some of the profit.

A lot of the Internet Service Providers in the US are also TV Providers. When users cut the cord and don’t pay for TV from these providers, those providers lose some money that they would otherwise profit from.

If Net Neutrality is voted down on December 14th, then it may become possible for Internet Service Providers to slow down access to services like NetFlix, Amazon Video, Sling TV, etc. And if users can’t stream video from these video services, they would be forced to either pay more for an Internet package that allows for streaming or go back to subscribing to TV from their Internet Service Provider so that the TV provider can get more profit.

Bottom Line: Voting out Net Neutrality is a win for TV and Internet Service Providers and a loss for consumers. Unless those TV and Internet Service Providers turn that extra money consumers are paying them into better infrastructure and extending their coverage areas. But will they do that? Not a lot in the history of TV and Internet Service Providers says they will.

What does all of this mean for the web hosting industry?
The short answer is, we don’t know. It probably won’t affect connections to our hosting services very much. There’s just no real reason for ISPs to block or throttle connections to regular websites. Their main concern is going to be the various streaming services out there. But, without Net Neutrality rules in place – ISPs will have the opportunity to throttle connections to certain servers that host websites. If a website is extremely popular, ISPs could decide to cash in on that opportunity and charge consumers extra for the ability to access those popular websites. This would be a strict money grab, but without Net Neutrality rules in place, it would not be illegal.

How can you help?
You are encouraged to contact your congressional representatives and tell them that you want Net Neutrality rules to remain. If elected officials feel the heat from their constituents that they may not be re-elected if Net Neutrality ends, then more of those elected officials will start listening.

You can help by going to:

and seeing all of the ways you can help.

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