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Net Neutrality, Obama and the Last Days of Equality on the Net

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Oliver's take, in the video below is too alarming, disheartening and scary to be funny. We used to complain about the "digital divide" (the disparity in internet access for Black folks relative the white Americans). Today we have cell phones with social media apps and have stopped complaining about the lack of access.  

 

Meanwhile a cable bill for those with internet access is now over $100 per month, with some paying much more.  A smart phone with a data package is typically over $100 too.  Bang for the buck we are getting a terrible deal relative to the rest of the industrialized world.

 

Truth be told, "Net Neutrality" disappeared years ago for small businesses. People care as much about his as they do the digital divide. The only reason we are talking about Net Neutrality now is because Facebook, Amazon, Google and other mega companies are crying foul. 

 

Please don't think for a split millisecond that "Net Neutrality" has anything to do with individuals.  This is about large corporations fighting over the opportunity to extract more revenue from us.

 

 

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Netflix's Diagram on how Internet Service Providers Deliver Internet Access to Consumers

 

Last month, Netflix made a deal with Comcast to pay for direct access to its broadband network. Under the so-called "paid peering" deal, which was deemed mutually beneficial, Netflix will be allowed to connect directly to Comcast's network instead of going through intermediaries, as it formerly did.

 

Brian Roberts is CEO and Chairman of Comcast Corporation and personally controls 33 1/3% of the voting rights of the company. Roberts is also chairman of the board of directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and previously treasurer. He served as chairman of NCTA from 1995 to 1996, when the landmark deregulation, in 1996, of Telecommunications Act became law.  Roberts received an estimated $24,683,315 in total compensation, during 2009. (according to wikipedia)

Comcast is the largest mass media and communications company in the world by revenue.  They own Universal Pictures, Time Warner Cable, NBC.

 

Obama with Brian Roberts.

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Life Outside The Fast Lane: Startups Wary Of Web Traffic Plan by Laura Sydell
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is offering up some to govern traffic on the Internet. The draft document could allow some Web companies to pay more for faster access.


Setting the Record Straight on the FCC’s Open Internet Rules by: Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman

 

 

Thomas E. Wheeler is the current Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November, 2013. Prior to working at the FCC, Wheeler worked as a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry!

 

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Pointing out Obama role is done not to just bash him, but to illustrate just how very profound this problem really is.  We are simply collateral damage as large multinational corporations vie for dominance over the Internet

 

The government, apparently is clueless or disinterested about what to do.  In any case both parties profit handsomely from donations and consumers continue to get less for their money and far too many of us go without access at all.

 

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Image Source: CFC Oklahoma, via Dailytech

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