Let’s talk about a world without net neutrality.
Last Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s Open Internet Order, the legal framework that was supposed to protect net neutrality.
And while net neutrality sounds complicated, it’s really not.
Basically, the idea behind it is that big internet service providers, like Comcast, should have to treat all websites and all internet users equally, and should not be allowed to promote some forms of content over others.
For example, with net neutrality rules in place, Comcast wouldn’t be able to slow down your access or charge more for your access to ESPN.com, just because they wanted you to use a sports news website that they own and operate.
But thanks to the D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling, internet service providers like Comcast are well on their way to being able to discriminate between websites, and to make the owners of competitor websites pay more money to run their websites at higher speeds and reach American consumers.
So what will the end of net neutrality mean for you, the consumer?
Back in 2009, Reddit user Quink created a graphic, detailing what internet prices might look like without net neutrality.
Since last week’s court ruling, the graphic has gone viral, and it does a great job detailing a world without net neutrality.
The graphic talks about a fictional internet service provider named TELCO.
With TELCO, in a world without net-neutrality, you can get basic internet service for $29.95 per month.
But good luck finding any websites that you can access with that plan.
That’s because in a world without net neutrality, internet service providers will be able to “package” websites, a lot like cable providers do with TV channels.
For example, if you’re a search engine user, and love looking up things on Google, Bing or Yahoo, then TELCO would charge you an extra $5 per month for access.
What if you’re a real news junkie, and like taking in the news from a global perspective?
TELCO would charge you another $5 per month to access international news websites like the BBC.
But don’t think that means TELCO will give you access to U.S.-based news for free.
Nope, it wants you to pay another $5 per month for access to American news websites like CNN, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times.
Now, say you’re done reading the news, and want to watch the latest viral YouTube hit, or an episode of your favorite show on Netflix.
To do either of those things, you’re going to have to pay TELCO an extra $10 to $15 per month.
Finally, say you’re a big online shopper. You live for those Cyber Monday deals before Christmas each year.
Well, if you want access to sites like Amazon, Ebay, or Overstock.com, you’ll have to pay TELCO another $5 per month.
You can easily see how costs add up in a world without net neutrality.
Suddenly, you’re forced to choose between having access to internet search engines and having access to the news.
If net neutrality rules stay off the books for good, internet service providers like Comcast will be able to turn even the most basic of things that we do and take for granted on the internet into cash cows.
Looking up the weather, reading the news and shopping online will become profit opportunities for Verizon or Comcast.
Right now, it’s unclear if the FCC plans to appeal last week’s decision.
Let’s help make the FCC’s decision a lot easier, and stand up for a free and open internet for all.
Go to FreePress.net and sign the petition.