This article paints a grim future for net neutrality, and apparently, that future is here. I knew that someday the sickness that is our political system would bend to the greed of corporations and their hefty bribes, but I thought we had more time.
From the article:
the judges have made clear how they planned to rule — for the phone and cable companies, not for those who use the internet. While the FCC has the power to impose the toothless “no-blocking” rule (originally proposed by AT&T above), it does not (the court will say) have the power to impose the essential “nondiscrimination” rule.
It looks like we’ll end up where AT&T initially began: a false compromise.
The implications of such a decision would be profound. Web and mobile companies will live or die not on the merits of their technology and design, but on the deals they can strike with AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and others. This means large phone and cable companies will be able to “shakedown” startups and established companies in every sector, requiring payment for reliable service. In fact, during the oral argument in the current case, Verizon’s lawyer said, “I’m authorized to state from my client today that but for these [FCC] rules we would be exploring those types of arrangements.”
It is painfully obvious that net neutrality is the natural order. If someone suggested that Sony ought to have the right to block certain channels simply because I bought a Sony television, they'd be laughed out of court. If Verizon told me I can't call AT&T users unless those users pay Verizon to let me call them, there'd be a riot. The FCC has long held the freedom of the airwaves for the public good as priority over corporate interest, but now the internet we pay for is about to die, and that terrifies me.
Companies have patience and money. They'll buy their way through the FCC and congress until they get what they want, and they'll do it every few years until we forget why we were against it. It's terrible, but, I fear, inevitable as the tide, and just as erosive.