Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
- Millionaire Tyupkin Malware ATM Hackers May Come to US, India After Hitting Europe - October 23, 2014
- BitLicense Will Allow Bitcoin Spying in New York - October 22, 2014
- Australians are Fighting Data Retention Laws - October 22, 2014
Netflix has closed the deal with Comcast to deliver their content at higher speeds. This at first sounds like a great deal for all their subscribers. But it goes against the net neutrality agreement that all ISPs should honor. Letting go of net neutrality opens the way for more ISP content controls, higher Internet access costs and privatization that can destroy the inherent openness of the Internet. But using VPNs for Netflix and other streaming services can bring back the balance.
Killing Net Neutrality for Better Speeds Now
Netflix is paying Comcast to allow subscribers of this ISP to get better streaming speeds on their content. This is great for Comcast subscribers with US Netflix accounts. They can soon expect to be able to watch Netflix content without delays. But what is the real price of rising above ISP bandwidth shaping to enjoy fast content streaming? To prevent a Comcast monopoly, Internet users can plug in VPNs for Netflix and break free from bandwidth throttling in a way that does not threaten the free Internet.
The net neutrality rules prevent ISPs from charging companies different rates. As private companies, they may feel they have the right to do this. But when dealing with the Internet, ISPs cannot be given complete control. It goes against the free nature of the Internet, which is why net neutrality was conceived in the first place. All ISPs should provide an acceptable level of service rather than one ISP accepting what can be considered a bribe to stream Netflix at faster speeds. Using VPNs for Netflix instead of allowing Comcast to gain ground helps to preserve the balance. It is this balance that protects Internet users against extraordinary costs for acceptable service.
Court Denies FCC Net Neutrality Proposal
The Federal Communications Commission tried to make its net neutrality policy official. But earlier this month, the Federal Court tossed it out as having to legal basis. Courts have previously ruled that only certain telecoms can be allowed to provide certain services. But having Internet companies fall under the same type of regulation would go against a free Internet. Many consumers complain about the speeds they get form their ISPs. And selecting high-speed companies to serve up certain content could solve this. But preserving the open nature of the Internet is a greater concern. The FCC is currently revising the net neutrality policy to balance out both the content discrimination and legal concerns.
This contract between Comcast and Netflix bends the existing rules and raises fears of more severe violations of net neutrality. Net neutrality keeps ISPs in check so they can’t make the decisions about content access. With this Comcast-Netflix deal, they are in effect controlling who can get good Netflix access in the US. Other ISPs are not being prevented from serving up Netflix movies and shows. But the special deal certainly gives the ISP an edge that could tip the scales. Allowing ISPs to compete for what services they provide access to would give rise to a type of privatization of the Internet. No one can really own the Internet, but given the chance, ISPs can try to monopolize access to it. As the gatekeepers, they would eventually control what content people would be able to view. The results would not be much different than Internet censorship. And as other ISPs compete to retain their subscribers, costs could soar. The essential point there is the power that ISPs already have to control subscribers’ bandwidth.
VPNs for Netflix Fight Bandwidth Throttling to Prevent Content Control
ISPs have been known to limit subscribers’ access to content through connection throttling. They cap the speeds at which users can download content when network traffic gets thick. ISPs of course deny that the practice has to do with controlling content. Some even deny the practice altogether, claiming that they are simply managing the connection resources to provide fair access to all. However you look at it, bandwidth throttling is a way to control what Internet users can access. VPNs for Netflix prevent ISPs from controlling what bandwidth you get. Your ISP will not be able to see what you are doing. Without knowing that you have reached what they think is unacceptable usage, they will not limit your speeds.
Bandwidth throttling can also be seen as leverage for something akin to extortion. Services like Netflix want their subscribers to be able to comfortably access their content. For this, they need Internet speed. And so the control becomes an opportunity to charge more for better service. Subscribers will get better Netflix speeds, but they still fear that they will end up either paying for it or facing bandwidth shaping yet again. They can easily avoid this pressure with VPNs for Netflix. They will not have to worry about ISPs slowing them down. So they won’t be driven into a corner where they have to pay out or suffer access limitations.
Netflix: We’ll pay Comcast’s ransom, but we shouldn’t have to
Nobody knows what Netflix is actually paying Comcast. That’s a problem.
Comcast Doesn’t Care if you Get Bad Service
Netflix CEO Slams Web Companies Over Net Neutrality