Why Net Neutrality Is So Important

Published on Author JFLeave a comment

Here’s my reasoning of what Net Neutrality is so important:

Those who control the medium control the message.

The following are easy ways to understand the entire argument against keeping Net Neutrality:

Hollywood came to exist because it could control manufacturing and distribution of content through cinemas/theaters.

The invention of the motion film medium meant that stage and then screenplay productions could be captured and disseminated. In order to pay for the production and to make a profit, the studios quickly locked up distribution rights.

Cinemas were born. Cinemas are not owned by Hollywood – they are, generally, independently owned and collect revenue from showing movies in a theater type setting. They do not own the movies. Up until recently, actual reals of film were sent around the country to cinemas. A studio created physical copies of their films and physically distributed them around the globe. Most movies are now sent via the Internet. The studios no longer have to spend millions of dollars every year distributing film copies of their movies. Cinemas, although part of our culture and often the only time many people congregate in a social place to share a common experience, are an anachronism. We now consume more media at home and our mobile devices than we do in a cinema over a long period of time. Releases like Star Wars and other movies tend to do well as a theater experience and so they remain a gold standard experience.

Hollywood still controls this medium/content delivery network. Cable TV then created their own delivery network.

Cable TV in the 70s and 80s saw the rise of a high quality and programmable medium that came with a premium price. Eventually, hundreds of channels were available. A small subset of these channels are premium and a monthly fee is required to access them. However, your basic cable fee goes into maintaining the network. The cable company makes its revenue by supplying a medium for channels to distribute TV shows that show ads and generated revenue for the show producers.

Cable TV controlled this medium/content delivery network until the Internet and streaming video began to eat into their profits. Closely tied to content creators (Hollywood and other TV studios), their stranglehold on distribution came under threat.

Speaking of distribution, Netflix was the primary cause of the demise of the video store. The Internet as a medium certainly helped, but Netflix handily ushered its rapid demise.

The eliminate the need to handle millions of dollars worth of fragile DVDs, Netflix eventually switched to a streaming model. Netflix, partnered with Hollywood and TV studios, helped to shift the distribution of content from the physical world the the digital world.

Ironically, the same companies that provide your content generally provide the Internet. Comcast. Time Warner. Charter. Verizon. Name-your-conglomerate.

For a while, many people paid both “cable tv” access, as well as Internet access with the same provider.

As more streaming content became available, the reason to have “cable access” became less and less.

Hollywood and the TV Studios could no longer control the medium, only the message.

Most streaming content EXCLUDES ADVERTISING. You, instead, pay a monthly fee to access content.

Hollywood and the TV Studios can no longer get paid billions of dollars for showing ads to a captive audience.

What is the best next step?

Get rid of Net Neutrality so that the Internet Providers, in partnership with the Hollywood Studios and TV Networks can once again control the medium and, thus, control the message.

It is as simple as that.

They want to carve up access to the Internet and use it as a controlled distribution network like its predecessors have been for the last 4 decades.

The question is, then: if I am paying $50 a month for Internet in December 2017, what will I be paying in December 2018?

The idea is that I will pay a base access fee, then pay my Internet Provider and additional charge so I can watch Netflix or Amazon, whom I will continue to separately a service fee. Or, my provider will charge Netflix and additional fee to access their network (the network WE ALREADY PAY FOR) and Netflix will pass that cost onto us.

What if it happens to YouTube?

As usual, if there is a way to double dip and screw us out of choice, these maniacal companies will find a way. 

The Internet created and continues to allow democratized access to both deliver and consume any content that we choose.

It is understandable that the size of the hose pipe is what allows us to view this content. 

It would be understandable that there are many tiers of data pipe sizes that should come with different costs.

It is not understandable that the provider of the pipe becomes the gatekeeper of the content in that pipe. They should do one job and only one: charge me for the amount of water I use and the size of the pipe that I own.

This is how a utility works.

This is how a utility works.

This is how a utility works.

Net Neutrality was repealed because the current government was successfully lobbied by Hollywood, the Studios, and the Internet providers who have no interest in being a utility. They want to be able to slice and dice the Internet into the equivalent of Cable TV channels to squeeze every last drop out of us.

Any other reason is an excuse.

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