FCC – is the fox watching the chicken coup?
Having slept on it, I am still haunted about the outcome of the FCC vote resulting in government involvement in the works of Internet Providers. Of the opinion categories, I would be one who says,
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The ruling has been passed, and now we have FCC allowing a tiered pricing plan. If it’s tiered, that would mean different levels of quality – right?
Having investigated statistics of Internet Provider’s clientele, a broader perspective reveals that the bulk of those who have an internet connection are categorized as income earners from the $75,000 and over range.
It’s already common knowledge that the disparity between classes exists. Most of the lower income bracket can’t afford the expense of an Internet provider.
Question: If the disparities have already existed, what makes the difference whether we have Net Neutrality or not?
Answer: The outcome of the FCC ruling which is going to allow tiered pricing may take the same route that cable television did.
The prices of cable television haven’t seen drastic increases, but rather, for the best benefit of public relations, gradually introduced small rate hikes.
In the beginning, MTV was the rage and what a cable TV subscriber got was commercial free entertainment. That didn’t last very long, however.
Gradual price hikes and reduction of offerings is how the cost of cable escalated through time. In other words, they cheapened up the programs. They tiered the most popular shows into the most expensive bracket.
Imagine who will get to be in the fast lane as far as Internet usage. Then imagine how this translates into the fact that time is money spent while endeavoring to work for a wage on the Internet.
Is the fox watching the chicken coop?
Cable companies can get around FCC regulations with techniques like the above decline in services. So, who do the internet users trust? Are we expected to have blind faith?
For about $30.00 a month, a cable subscriber can see infinite reruns of Law and Order, Two and a Half Men, Matlock and productions created by amateur filmmakers.
The news offerings are the same as always, but a viewer has the choice of an outdoor antenna to access news and weather, as long as it’s not too far away from a major city. Some of the cable providers don’t even offer weather forecasts on the lowest priced offerings.
The higher tier of cable services isn’t much better, but offers an occasional new movie or sitcom. Get the gist? It’s how the price goes up without setting off alarms that would come to the FCC’s attention via numerical stats.
Being no financial expert, I can only reflect a personal reaction. If the cable companies are becoming Internet Providers, and search engines, and are allowed to have tiered pricing – what kind of Internet connections will be available?
If it goes anything like the history of Cable Television, some people, (those on the lower tier of the pricing) may be waiting around forever just to get connected.
Cable providers evolving into Internet providers with tiered pricing doesn’t seem very promising when looking at the history of cable television as an example.
If you are interested in the plight, go to Save the Internet.com.