Net Neutrality Future of Streaming Media

U.S. Appeals Court Says No to Net Neutrality

This may affect the future of streaming media and everything you do online

The U.S. Court of Appeals handed broadband telecom and cable companies a huge win. This suit was brought against the FCC when Verizon sued along with many other internet providers fighting against the 2010 FCC net neutrality mandate. This mandate said wireline Internet Service Providers ”Shall not block lawful content, applications, services or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management” it also mandated that Internet Service Providers “Shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful traffic over a consumer’s broadband Internet access service.”

This means if they have customers that are streaming videos, listening to music or surfing the web each must be treated the same. Otherwise known as Net Neutrality, this 2010 FCC mandate ensures that internet companies could not block other competing companies, or discriminate against companies like Netflix who use their network to stream videos that would compete with their Cable TV services. This ruling on net neutrality can have much wider implications so be sure to watch the video below to see how important this issue and on how if can greatly affect your everyday enjoyment of the internet.

What Does This mean for Streaming Media?

It's still to early to tell what the final outcome will be, as the FCC has several options open to them they can appeal and the fight over Net Neutrality could well end up in the Supreme Court. The FCC cold also classify the internet as a Utility which would fall under different rules. For now it's a really big win for internet providers. The Court claimed consumers can simply switch providers if unhappy with their current provider. Unfortunately, competition in most USA markets is still rather limited so this may be easier said then done for many rural customers.

In a worse case scenario if internet broadband providers ultimately prevail, we may see higher costs associated with streaming videos, or downloading files. They could also impose bandwidth caps with different pricing structures much like many cellular data plans already have in place. Or, they can simply eliminate streaming large media files from their network in order to drive more business to their cable television side which has seen a steady decline of customers in favor of streaming media over the last several years.

How Consumers Can Fight Back

The average Cable TV customer is paying 3X more than what they did three years ago. Nothing speaks louder then money. As consumers, we can fight back and hit them where it hurts. We can support other providers with our business if available that choose not to penalize streamers.  A mass exodus of customers will make Cable companies that decide to take punitive actions against customers who choose not to purchase their TV services, quickly see the error of their ways.

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