The FCC has finally seen the light, and by that, I mean that large corporations like Comcast and Verizon have finally managed to make their voices louder than the voices of small business owners and American citizens. Yesterday, I shared a story about Russia’s new law regarding bloggers, which significantly restricts Internet freedom and free speech in the country. Not wishing to be outdone, the FCC has decided to backtrack on their stance in favor of net neutrality, and has decided to dismantle it instead. In doing so, they’ve helped prove that America isn’t turning into an oligarchy, it already is one.
First, Verizon was able to convince a judge that the net neutrality laws weren’t valid. Next, Comcast abused the newly invalidated law, by forcing Neflix to pay extra for tolerable steaming speeds and video quality. Netflix has spoken out against Comcast’s anti-competitive moves in their attempted acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and Comcast isn’t happy with them for it. Netflix is obviously frustrated with the collapse of net neutrality at the hands of Comcast and Verizon, and has had to increase their rates for new customers as a result of their increased costs. This is a very nasty chain of events, and is starting to fall in line with the slippery-slope-esque worries of years past, when net neutrality was not yet a law.
It was thought that these practices would be halted in a timely fashion, just as soon as the FCC could draft new net neutrality laws, closing the loopholes Verion used to invalidate it. The FCC would protect the rights of American citizens, right? Once upon a time, that was true, but not anymore. The FCC is headed by Tom Wheeler, who was a producer for NBC shows. NBC, if you’ll remember, was acquired by Comcast in the company’s last anti-competition merger, and Wheeler was in charge during that transition. The FCC has, unsurprisingly, turned around on their previous desire to uphold net neutrality. Now they’re saying companies can force other companies to pay extra for a competitve advantage and inceased speed. The FCC has officially thrown out the needs of the people of this country, including small business owners who now can’t afford to compete with larger companies. This government organization has instead decided to side with the companies that fuel American politics with their “donations”. That’s the definition of an oligarchy, a nation ran by money, not the democratic process.
Small business owners won’t be able to compete with large companies. Here, Netflix has a monopoly on streaming because they can afford to pay Comcast’s extortion fees. Someone with a streaming business would never be able to compete with them. On top of that, Netflix has to offset the cost of Comcast’s little scam, and increases their prices. Next Comcast and Verizon could merge, and suddently AT&T will have to pay them millions to have their website load on the network. When net neutrality dies, veryone loses. Everyone but the largest corporations and the politicians collecting funds from those corporations.
If this isn’t enough to convince you that the United States of America is no longer a country “for the people, by the people”, and is now a nation that’s simply bought by the highest bidder, consider the study done by Princeton University and Northwestern University. The study clearly showed America’s declining democracy, and the bleak future for Americans, unless they’re rich. It’s sad to think that in the short time I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve written about the dangers of not passing net neutrality, the protection of our rights from the FCC standing up for net neutrality, and the reversal of that protection when a company as rich as Comcast came knocking. Now the American people suffer from these corporations and our own government teaming up on us.