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Goodbye Net Neutrality! You are about to feel how bad government corruption is

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
12/14/2017 (1 month ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

You are about to pay a lot more for a lot less.

Federal regulators are about to surrender their power to enforce net neutrality. The decision will impact the lives of all Americans, even those who never use the internet. Everything is about to cost a lot more, and move more slowly, from internet traffic to all kinds of goods and services. After taking fast internet for granted for over two decades, Americans are about to feel a lot of pain, especially when they try to relax. Here's why. 

The FCC is voting away its ability to protect you. And Congress does not appear ready to help.

The FCC is voting away its ability to protect you. And Congress does not appear ready to help.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
12/14/2017 (1 month ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Internet, government, corruption, net neutrality, internet providers


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Federal regulators are surrendering their power to enforce net neutrality today. That decision is going to impact the entire nation, even those who never use the internet. It's going to impact the nation in ways we have yet to imagine because the internet is ubiquitous. And when you learn why this disaster is about to unfold, you will be angry -- angry and powerless at the same time. Get ready to suffer. 

Net neutrality is a simple concept. It means that internet providers must treat all traffic on the internet the same. The freeway is a popular analogy. Imagine a freeway where all the cars move at the same speed. That makes for an efficient freeway.

The repeal of net neutrality rules means internet service providers, that is the people who own the actual infrastructure, the cables and wires that make up the internet, can now police that traffic as they see fit. It seems fair, after all, they own the infrastructure, so why not allow them to police it? But there is a serious problem. 

Because there is only so much infrastructure, internet providers are effectively local monopolies, and therefore they are regulated the same as utility companies. This prevents price gouging and ensures fairness. But there's a twist. The internet is more than just a utility, it's also information. It's news, media and entertainment. In a way, it's the First Amendment moving at light speed, just like radio and television, which is why it is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. 

So what?

The repeal of net neutrality is very bad for consumers and the nation as a whole. Without this regulation in place, providers can begin charging people more for using the internet at the same speed they always have. Those who refuse to pay will be relegated to slower lanes. To use the freeway analogy, imagine every freeway becomes a toll road, and the lowest tolls mean you have to use the stop-and-go lanes. 

How do we know this will happen? Because in places without net neutrality rules, it's what we see. Portugal is cited as a prime example. Without net neutrality, people must subscribe to a  mix of packages to access different websites. If you want Google, that's one price. Facebook? That's another package. YouTube? Yet another package. Add on Netflix, or other streaming services? That's going to cost you even more. The end result is that people pay quite a bit more for the same service, or they go without. 

An example of the mess internet users in Portugal face when buying internet services. In the United States, prices will be higher, but don

An example of the mess internet users in Portugal face when buying internet services. In the United States, prices will be higher, but don't expect better quality service.


Likewise, the internet providers can also throttle, or even refuse to carry content they don't like. This sets them up as censors. We might not complain if they ban ISIS videos or pornography, but what happens when they ban religious content or political speech? Do you really want a telecom company to stand between you and your political or religious leaders online? 

That's going to be hard for the connected generation, but they are not going to suffer alone. If you watch television for free, say goodbye to that. Rabbit ears and antenna-fed television is about to go away in the coming months. Radio will still be there, but not television. Soon, everyone will need a cable connection to watch any kind of television. 

Since television uses internet service provider cables, it'll be subject to the new pricing model. So, even people in retirement homes will be paying more before the end of the year to come. 

It gets worse. 

The internet is as vital to our economy as oil. We communicate via the internet, we shop and fill orders online. We pay our bills online, saving stamps and time. Shops and stores of all kinds rely on the internet to manage inventory and serve customers faster and more efficiently. And in a big, yet unseen way, this contributes to the robust economy we enjoy. 

What happens when the price of oil goes up? The higher prices are passed along to consumers. Likewise, when internet prices go up, the increased costs will be passed along to consumers.

Even the little things will reflect these increases, from the items you buy at the store, to the time it takes to get something delivered. 

So, why is this happening?

The reason is infuriating. The members of the Federal Communications Commission, of which there are five voting members of the board, is expected to vote 3-2 in favor of repealing net neutrality. The chairman, Ajit Pai, is spearheading the plan and will cast the deciding vote. 

Pai, who is just 44, is a Republican, but was appointed by President Obama. President Trump appointed him as chairman of the FCC. Pai has publicly joked about doing the bidding of the telecom industry. But it isn't funny. Even 3 out of 4 Republicans oppose his plan. 

According to Pai, the repeal will spur investment and growth in the telecom industry, but experts believe this is a lie. Instead, the measure is regressive and will slow development across the board. Internet providers will make a lot more money without having to provide more value.

Pai has connections to the telecom industry and is widely thought to be bought off or influenced by them in some fashion. Likewise, several other members of Congress are also bought and work for the industry instead of the people. 

This is the heart of the matter. Corruption of our public officials has resulted in the passage of schemes and plans that cost taxpayers money and provide nothing in return. Like many other things, this is another form of taxation intended to transfer money from the working class to those who don't work, and those who won't. The wealthy have theirs, and the slackers get things for free, while the rest of us struggle. 

Perhaps this will be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. The rollback of net neutrality will impact us in many ways we will notice. For the first time, people whose heads are always down looking at screens will notice their streaming videos slowed, or be asked to pay more to access their favorite websites. People who are apathetic about politics will suddenly care when they notice the things they care about are impacted by this decision. 

In an age of bread and circuses, the internet is the circus. Take that away, and all people will have left -- are their pitchforks. 

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Religious Minorities in Asia.
That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their faith in full freedom.


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