Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Net Neutrality Is Gone: AT&T, Verizon And Comcast Now Control What Sites Users Can Access

By Rebeka Silva r.silva@hngn.com | Jan 16, 2014 07:53 PM EST

Comcast
Comcast, AT&T and Verizon internet service providers were all part of a lawsuit which removed net neutrality on Tuesday, Jan. 14 (not pictured). (Photo : Comcast)

A ruling by the Court of Appeals in Washington removed a Federal Communications Commissions pre-doomed attempt to keep Internet service providers from being able to control user's internet-browsing experience, the Los Angeles Times reported.

After the FCC's failed attempt at keeping big internet service providers from gaining control over what service to provide and how quickly to provide them, Tuesday's ruling will now allow AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to regulate their internet service without any outside force to keep them in check, according to the Times.

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"AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast will be able to deliver some sites and services more quickly and reliably than others for any reason," telecommunications lawyer Marvin Ammori said before the ruling was given, according to the Times. "Whim. Envy. Ignorance. Competition. Vengeance. Whatever. Or, no reason at all."

The courts ruling means the the internet providers could start charging sites like Netflix money in order for better movie streaming quality, which they now control because they control the internet quality for each site, the Times reported.

Comcast has said they will continue to follow the net neutrality rules, which were overturned this past Tuesday, until January 2018 due to a condition put in place when it merged with NBC Universal in 2011, according to the Times.

The telecom companies will now legally be able to give faster speeds to sites or slow and even block sites and services "that compete with favored affiliates," the Times reported.

According to the telecom companies, the sole reason for their pursuit to remove net neutrality is to provide the best service for the problem, though cases have occurred where ISPs have been caught degrading services for their own gain, according to the Times.

Comcast was one of those companies and in 2007 net neutrality watchdogs found the provider had been slowing internet service to the video service BitTorrent, which allows users to stream on-demand video, the Times reported.

Comcast was found guilty of violating net neutrality but the FCC allowed it to buy NBC which has since given them more power and reason to want to get rid of net neutrality, which officially happened on Tuesday, according to the Times.

The Times blames the FCC for allowing this "wretched combination of monopolization and profiteering" to be handed over to large cable companies and says the FCC abandoned the fight for net neutrality in 2002 when Chairman Michael Powell reclassified cable modem services as "information services" and eliminated the FCC's authority to regulate them.

Powell is now the cable industry's chief lobbyist in Washington, the Times reported.

You can tell the FCC to save the open internet by clicking here.

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