Originally Posted by DrDon
Discuss the topic, but leave political comments OUT.
Also, please provide a quote or something similar with any link you post. Here we are discussing the expense of internet access and, at the same time, forcing members on metered mobile data plans to link out to sites that can consume a lot more data than if you'd just included the highlights of your link.
Sure. The "Internet" is a few networking protocols. You can look them up. The protocols themselves are business-agnostic, and only cover a framework of open communication between computers. If you want to do business on the Internet, you have to figure out how to provide content or functionality that is compelling, so attracts an audience, and how to monetize that audience.
Since the earliest days of the Internet, businesses have tried to take over the Internet, one way or another, because the competition for the audience and the ability to monetize it are so difficult from a traditional business perspective. Remember that before the Internet, there were several network businesses that relied on controlling all aspects of commercial networking, starting with their proprietary protocols for connection to the consumer: AOL, EarthLink, The Well, etc. They're all gone, destroyed by the relentless pressure of the open Internet business environment to supply compelling content and functionality outside of controlling the protocols.
But giant new businesses have arisen in this environment, and society as a whole has been transformed by these open protocols. The Internet succeeded for everybody because of lack of control of the protocols that connect the consumer to the network.
The protocols themselves are not that important, or even very well-suited for the purposes they are being used for today. What was always important was that they were open, with a level playing field for businesses to either succeed or fail.
So the repeal of net neutrality is just another attempt for certain businesses to take over the Internet. It's questionable whether they will succeed, given the history of failures by dozens of other short-sighted businesses in the past. But the attempt will almost certainly lead to classic economic misallocation of resources and higher costs for many consumers.
For broadband video streaming, it is almost beside the point. All of the streaming services I'm aware of use HTTP for streaming video (which is almost criminally stupid), which is one of the protocols that define what we call the Internet. All streaming services attempt to take over that Internet protocol (and others) to provide a proprietary service that largely does not resemble the open Internet. Cable companies as one example should absolutely be able to provide those types of proprietary services to their customers. Note that the companies that could be called broadband Internet providers are busy partnering with streaming services (such as Netflix) to provide part of their offerings. Repealing net neutrality will give them additional negotiating leverage to force streaming services to partner with them (by threatening their "partners" to cut them off from their Internet service), making them the de facto provider of a streaming platform such as Roku for any consumers who have only one practical choice for broadband Internet in their homes.
But again, only time will tell if the cable companies (for one example) will get their wish to become the head-end paywall for streaming services. What is clear (to me at least) is the distinction between the open Internet with net neutrality, and the mere Internet protocols themselves. Nothing technically has ever stopped the cable companies from steaming video over HTTP, but HTTP or any protocol is not the true meaning of the Internet. The true meaning of the Internet is a level business playing field that allows for competition that ultimately is good for the consumer AND businesses (well, the ones that win, anyway). That's why I think the FCC is WAY off-base with this decision.