FCC Tries To Kill The Internet AgainFiled inside: News
Sadly the dream of net neutrality may be dead soon enough. The Wall Street Journal reported that the FCC soon plans to introduce new regulations that would allow Internet Service Providers to charge different prices for the data they’re carrying.
For years, many supporters of a free Internet have said that information should never have to pay a toll to ride on the web. But as traffic and competition has increased, much of it from big video providers like Netflix. The Internet become more congested and regulators have struggled to catch up with new digital realities. If the FCC fails in this attempt to devise rules that withstand judicial scrutiny, it might have no choice but to try to reclassify broadband for stricter utility, like regulation.
Here is how this doomsday scenario will affect PC gaming. Companies like Comcast could charge Netflix or Valve more money for a faster connection to their end users, since their services require vast amounts of data. Those kinds of costs will likely end up being passed down to people like us.
For example, ISP’s are starting to charge for “data packages,” similar to how mobile cell data plans work, on home connections. Can’t go over 50 gigabytes this month or you’ll be hit with fees from AT&T! You want to be able to see all the internet, unlimited like you had before? That’ll be $300 a month please.
Monthly ISP fees are already outrageous in this day and age, and who knows how it will be in the future to come. Modern data infrastructure and fiber optic connections are cheap enough to establish, and it’s decade old technology that people are still paying a premium for. So these big bully companies like Comcast are raising a big fuss for the single reason of making more money.
It’s not just about the money though, if the Internet isn’t open and equal, ISPs could charge us more for access to certain sites, or block services entirely to promote their own stuff. For Internet service providers, video distributors, movie studios and even medical companies, efforts will center on what it means for a broadband provider to favor some content over another in a “commercially reasonable” way the standard that the FCC says will determine whether a practice is acceptable.
Comcast’s Video on Demand vs. Netflix, for example. I think something like that happening is less likely, but I’m still worried about it, and unless some good news comes out of the FCC soon, things aren’t looking great for the Internet and gamers as we know it.