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Net Neutrality: A Guide to (and History of) a Contested Idea

parislemon:

Solid overview/primer by Alexis C. Madrigal and Adrienne LaFrance.

See also: Ryan Singel’s post, which also offers the solution:

The simplest fix is to simply re-impose common carrier rules. All that takes is 3 out of 5 FCC commissioners to vote to do so and the FCC has those votes today.

Everyone knows their internet service should work like a utility. You pay Comcast or AT&T a certain amount of money per month and you get a level of service and you get to watch Netflix or upload videos and play World of Warcraft or whatever it is you like to do on the internet. At least in theory.

Unfortunately, Comcast and AT&T are powerful and profitable, and they do not want to be utilities. Being a utility is boring. A utility’s profit margins, while solid, don’t compare to that of a Google or a Facebook or a Netflix. And because AT&T and Verizon and Comcast are the necessary pipes between you and those services, they’d like to get paid double.

And so here we are.

So we’re here, at the crossroads of companies wanting more money in an industry that has a clear cap on profits, and a reality that no one values them at more than they currently pay.