Posts Tagged ‘Comcast’

Federal Court Nixes Net Neutrality

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

"You want more data? Keep putting large bills in my hand, I'll see what I can do."

I’ll admit that over the years, as the speed of my Internet connection has gotten progressively faster, I’ve taken it for granted that there are limitations to every data connection. I’ve been in neighborhoods where there were very few people connected to my provider and the data speeds were only limited by the hardware on my end. But I’ve also been in neighborhoods where my provider was suffering from an overpopulation of heavy data users and I’d see my downloads slow to a crawl. But even then, I didn’t consider the fact that there might one day be a cost above and beyond my monthly service fee.

Unfortunately, that may be were we’re headed… Connections to data intensive applications and sites could be strictly monitored and even produce additional costs on your cable bill.

Fiction, you say? I wish it were.

A federal court ruled on Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission (that’s the FCC for you acronym lovers out there) had neither the right nor the authority to prevent broadband providers from charging “premium service” fees or prevent certain data from gobbling up network capacity. The three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia essentially overturned the concept of “Net Neutrality” opening the door for companies such as Comcast to begin charging additional fees for access to data intensive applications.

You may be asking what exactly Net Neutrality is and what it might mean to you. Fortunately, Uncle Gritskrieg is here to give you a few pointers on just that.

Net Neutrality is the idea that there needs to be a policy in place to prevent broadband providers from restricting access to certain types of data. The policy would also prevent those same providers from charging you, the consumer, extra dough if you want to use a service like Netflix which is data intensive when you’re streaming that High-Def movie to your big ol’ plasma screen tv. It would prevent the companies from favoring or discriminating against which sites you could access from your provider’s network.

Still unclear? Let me break it down even further. Big Cable Provider Inc. decides to open a web site similar to In order to make certain they get the users on their network that are currently viewing, they limit the amount of traffic that can visit the site while at the same time allowing their users to visit BCP Inc.’s own Or worse, accessing the original site for Busy Gamer’s incurs an extra charge on your monthly statement.