Pay a higher fee or suffer

Fast Lane means pay a higher fee or suffer:

Without net neutrality ISPs will have enormous incentives to keep regular customers hostage until they pay up higher fees to access the Internet; that is to say: pay a higher fee or suffer.

If a pay-to-play Internet becomes reality, most of us will be left behind while the money-cow moves to the more expensive plans and packages offered by ISPs. ISPs will start to favour them and neglect the rest of us who might not be able to afford the new fees. So, inadvertently it shifts the ISPs away from net neutrality into a discriminating Internet.

ISPs will find ways to make contents unreachable for all of us. Small companies will not be able to reach their targeted customers and users will not be able to reach the content providers UNLESS everyone pays up larger and larger fees. This is the natural evolution of this proposed pay-to-play plan. ISPs already started to do so with Netflix. They make unusable for the Netflix users so in turn, they would pressure Netflix to pay higher fees to make the content available again. This is an arm-race. It will only reach an equilibrium at a much higher price than what it is today, and it will never come down. It will only go up. Then companies like Netflix will be forced to dump the extra fees on its users. This is a complete lose-lose for everyone except ISPs.

This is particularly dangerous because then ISPs will become those who can easily kill competition, start-ups, and small companies by imposing extra fees to the extent that these companies become unprofitable. The society will be the ultimate victim who will have to pay the price.

The world is not the same with the Internet in it. Access to the Internet is like access to electricity, water, and gas. The Internet is not a luxury. The Internet is a commodity, a primary utility. It is a necessity. Today’s modern life is nearly impossible without it. Tomorrow’s life cannot even be conceived without it. Now, you guys are planting the seeds to change it. That means you are directly affecting my future and the future of billions of human beings, and almost everyone who will be born in future.

Our future depends on the neutrality of the Internet and everyone’s equal access to it. Please don’t ruin the Internet. Please stop this pay-to-play insanity. This is a slippery slope and opens the gate to destroy the Internet as we know it. As soon as one exception is made, a deluge of other requests for exceptions as special treatments will follow. There is no way to legally protect net neutrality when the damage is done. Because the design of the proposed plan is fundamentally flawed. Please don’t destroy the little faith that is left in the good intention of the government. The U.S. government has already eroded its credibility beyond repair. Please don’t let this latter issue become the last nail in the coffin of its reputation. Everyone around the world used to look up to the U.S. Don’t make it a mere matter of history.

Here are my votes on the issue:

1- Reclassify the ISPs as common carriers. Reclassifying broadband as a regulated telecom service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

2- I vote AGAINST the creation of a fast-lane for ISPs. My suggestion for FCC is to ban such a thing altogether. Any ‘internet speed tiers’ is detrimental to net neutrality.

3- ISPs are regularly abusing their monopolies to impose harmful fees. Regulate them the same way any other utility provider is regulated: price-control (cellphone companies in Canada now are banned from charging their users outrageous fees. That is a good example for FCC to follow).

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2014) Pay a higher fee or suffer. BlogSophy.

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