It will affect your internet.
Here’s what you need to know about the Verizon decision this past Tuesday.
A couple years ago, the FCC failed to categorize ISP’s as “common carriers.” Basically, Chairman (at the time) Julius Genachowski didn’t have the nerve to face down the enormously powerful telco’s.
The Post Office is a common carrier.
The USPS must deliver mail equally but they have no liability if a bomb arrives.
The phone company is a common carrier, too.
They must connect all calls with equal thrift and precision, but if two guys plan a hit over the phone, it’s never been their fault.
Had the FCC declared ISP’s common carriers they, too, would be shielded from liability for unlawful use of their network. BUT they’d lose control of shaping their traffic in exchange.
Every packet would have to be delivered equally; the surgeon, that tweeting teen, no discrimination; no prioritization.
The internet as we knew it.
Say goodbye to all that, now, on the wired network.
Verizon wanted the cash that comes with control, and they were willing to accept liability.
The FCC pushed back and applied “Net Neutrality” rules so Verizon sued and the judge agreed: the FCC had no jurisdiction.
ISP’s can now shape traffic on their networks.
What does this mean for you?
Eventually a lot, actually.
They can ask you for a higher fee now, to ensure your email arrives quickly. If you won’t pay it, your mail goes to the bottom of the pile.
Seriously. Now legal.
They can ask websites to pay for the bandwidth they use. Netflix, for instance, uses more bandwidth than any other single service and is expected to endure another $75-$100 million a year in fees, and those costs will be passed along to us.
More importantly, if an ISP decides to compete with Netflix, they can launch their own movie streaming service and then degrade NetFlix’s delivery over their network until it won’t work on your computer anymore.
All legal now.
And they will monitor your every action because now they are accountable for what you do. Your only recourse is to leave your isp and look for a friendlier one.
Or leave the internet, entirely, of course.
That’s an option.