You’d better watch this video right now.

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This post will dovetail with the one below, so you might want to read them together.

Are you familiar with Net Neutrality? If not, you should be. It’s one of the single most important technical challenges we are facing as a country, and as a global community. The Internet is under regulatory attack on two separate fronts, and no one seems to care. As crazy as we go over soccer or the Kardashians or legalizing pot, the future of the Internet just doesn’t get a lot of public attention.

But it should. Because we may be on the brink of losing the Internet as we know it.

The first issue is the handover of ICANN, the organization that controls the creation and control of web addresses, from the control of the United States. Honestly, it’s not really under the control of the United States, as other governments have a say in issues that come up, but it’s headquartered in California and it’s generally considered that we’re the final authority. It wouldn’t normally bother me that a global entity such as ICANN ends up under global control, except the countries that really fought to have it released include Russia, China, and North Korea, some of the most oppressive countries on earth when it comes to the flow of information and the right of people to voice opinions. They couched it in terms of concern over security in light of the Snowden leaks, as have other countries, however I’m of the firm belief they so desperately want this to happen so they can more heavily regulate what appears online, especially dissent.

But the much, much more immediate threat is the end of Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality essentially means all Internet traffic is treated equally, and no one’s data is more important than anyone else’s.

network-neutralityHowever, with appointment of former cable-company lobbyist Tom Wheeler as head of the FCC, the bizarre decision by the Supreme Court to end legal requirements to maintain Net Neutrality, and the impending merger of two of the largest cable providers in the country, Net Neutrality has a fight of Biblical proportions in front of it.

If it ends, that means some services will be forced to pay for better service for their customers. For example Netflix would pay Comcast to not slow down their service, but that would mean a higher cost that Netflix would have to pass on to you. Or, if a cable company has an investment in one service, they could stifle the speed of a competitor that you are using making it unusable. We have already seen the issue crop up. The Internet will never be the same; you will be charged more for inferior services, and be at the mercy of the providers.

net-neutrality-750x400

This might not be far off.

However, after typing all this, rather than typing another 1000 words I am just going to let John Oliver explain it. He does an outstanding job. shows charts and graphs that really illustrate the problem, and you’ll have a good chuckle along the way. Don’t miss it, it’s a very, very important issue that can end up impacting all of us.

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5 thoughts on “You’d better watch this video right now.

  1. I really hope someone at the FCC gets their head out of their ass and puts a stop to this nonsense. This sounds like the government trying to squeeze very dime from regular people through the major corporations that line their campaign funds. I agree with John Oliver and his opinions. I wish the President would have a backbone and get back to supporting Net Neutrality like he did in 2008.

  2. Ok, if the situation were not so serious, it almost sounds like a bad joke: what do you get when you take a former lobbyist/now current FCC head, a questionable supreme court decision, and two behemoth cable service providers……..someone can fill in the punch line. But really, I cannot think of a time when merging two cable companies together ever resulted in superior quality, faster service, or lower prices; and this scenario will not disappoint.

    John Oliver’s commentary was entertaining and spot on. The government’s penchant for fixing something that isn’t broken is ironic given its perpetual gridlock over the last number of years.

  3. I completely agree with everything John Oliver had to say – and thoroughly enjoyed his way of stating it. He started right out with something that just disgusts me – the fascination with the lives of people like the Kardashians (WHY???), whereas no one gives a hoot about issues that are so vitally important! I loved his new-and-improved version of the wolf watching the sheep – the dingo babysitting the baby! Hilarious, yet wonderfully demonstrating the insanity of what is going on!

    The net SHOULD remain neutral. Period.

    On the other hand, sometimes it is only money that brings technology in – I have a house in South Dakota. Carthage, South Dakota has a population of about 120 people. To give an idea of how remote the place is, the closest Walmart is 50 miles away, and the closest Starbucks is 190 miles away. But when the Hollywood crowd was scheduled to show up to do some filming (Into The Wild in 2005,) all those rich Hollywood types could not stand the idea that their cell phones would not have reception, and their computers would have to deal with dial-up modems! In order to keep mutiny at bay, the production company paid to have new cell towers and internet cables installed in the area before the film crews arrived. Those of us who lived/vacationed there were pretty happy about all that! We got new services installed without our having to pay for it!

  4. I have been interested with Net Neutrality as well, especially once Netflix agreed to pay Comcast to allow it to directly connect to it, versus going through middlemen. I have to say that the John Oliver comment on Net Neutrality was great, and I loved the analogies used throughout the video. I did try to go to fcc.gov/comments, but it was down as of 9:45 PM PDT Monday night.

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