So, net neutrality...

SimonKJones
SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
edited September 2014 in General
This post is my own opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of FXHOME or other staff.
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FXHOME probably wouldn't exist without the internet. The company was founded in 2001 and has always benefited from the open nature of the web. It gave us a space to sell our products, get the word out, form a community. That community has flourished over the years, first at FXHOME.com and now at HitFilm.com. We share videos, exchange tips and techniques and advice. There's discussion - so much discussion - and everybody benefits.
Back in 2001 FXHOME was a tiny startup company set up by a couple of friends but it was able to immediately compete on a global stage due to the neutral nature of the internet. In other words, despite us being a tiny company back then we had the same 'air time' as any of our competitors. Customers could check us out just as easily as they could other companies. This is the concept of net neutrality: as far as your internet provider is concerned, they're just slinging data at you. They don't care what the data is - that's up to you.
Comcast and other US cable companies want to fundamentally change this concept and are lobbying the FCC, Congress and the White House. They want to charge companies for varying connection speeds and qualities. Therefore Netflix will have to pay Comcast to ensure good connections to Netflix viewers, otherwise Comcast will artificially slow down that connection. Netflix don't like this but they do have the cash to do it. The problem is that if another startup wanted to compete with Netflix, it would be practically impossible because they wouldn't be able to compete on bandwidth.
Sure, money is always a factor. Some companies will always have larger marketing budgets than others. But until now, once a customer has heard of the options, it was entirely up to them what they do.
Imagine a world in which companies don't compete based on the quality of product, but on how much they can afford to pay the internet providers.
You can find out more and do something about it here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th/

Comments

  • Net neutrality is the only system that makes sense for everyone, ending it will only helps the isp's, whilst kicking everyone else in the balls knees.
  • Darren
    Darren Posts: 164
    Might as well go back to charging net surfers by the minute like the old days
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    edited September 2014
    This was bound to happen eventually, and while I know many people (including myself) have signed petition after petition to stop it, I expect the worst.  I sincerely hope I'm wrong to be pessimistic about it, but when certain popular news sources are owned by the corporations who are trying to make this a reality, it's hard not to be.
    If the problem was that people knew about net neutrality and didn't care, rather than not caring because they don't know, I think this would be an easy issue to fix.  But people only know what they're told, or are willing to listen to, and I think the general consensus is "it's good enough".  People will complain to Netflix, or cancel their subscription when their streaming video quality sucks, but 9 out of 10 of those people don't realize the problem doesn't lie with Netflix, it lies with their cable provider.  These same people probably don't know that it's even possible to check the internet speed they're receiving and compare that with what they're actually paying for.  If certain sites start loading more slowly than others, people are going to blame the creators of the site, not the corporations who run the internet.
    People just don't know the issue exists.  The disease is killing them, but since they have no symptoms, they don't mind.  It's great that a lot of sites are bringing it up today, but from what I've seen, it needs to be more intrusive.  I know there has to be a balance, so they don't lose customers over one day of "protest", but having a little popup banner in the bottom of the screen, or a brief mention of net neutrality on the homepage is probably not going to cut it.
    Man, I really hope this can be fixed.
    These corporations have been trying to cripple the free internet for years now, and I worry that the slow progress has worked in their favor.  Take a little bit away, a little at a time, and eventually people won't even notice the difference.  Again, I desperately want to be wrong about this, but I don't have an awful lot of faith in people to stand up for things in an age where filming yourself having water dumped on your head to avoid donating to charity is a cool and hip thing to do.
  • Andrew
    Andrew Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    One of my probably most important moments in college was when, in the sole class or course Ben and I have had together since we were 9, we argued for net neutrality in what became a very bitter and intense discussion in one of our communications courses.
    I to this day remember absolutely fuming with anger at how utterly obtuse most of my classmates were about net neutrality, its importance, and how- even the super artsy and incredibly liberal, polarizingly contrarian students in the class- fundamentally 'missed the point' of what it even was. One of the most frustrating days of my life.
    But so long as there are people who understand it, and will fight for it, we all have a chance. 
  • I hear ya, the apathy in my neighborhood is intense. I can't motivate anyone to do anything even in my family. Sign of the times.