Tomorrow Ajit Pai Decides Whether To End Your Free And Open Internet
Yesterday was Break the Internet Day and a bunch of organizations all over the place are talking about the whole internet situation.
In fact, there's a fascinating piece in the New York Times about how an Internet Service Provider in Sweden, Telia Company AB came out and said if you exceed your data plan on your mobile phone, if you've got a data plan that says you got three gigs of data a month and you burn through those three gigs of data, then they'd throttle your data - everything goes super slow and you basically can't use your data.
But they said they would continue to not throttle Facebook Spotify and Instagram. I can't say for sure, but presumably Facebook, Spotify and Instagram are paying for this or it's some kind of promotion for the ISP. But it's not net neutrality and so the Swedish regulators are suing this company, Telia.
But it's not that big a deal in Europe because for example Britain has 50 different Internet Service Providers. You have a lot of choices. So there's still competition. In the United States about half of Americans only have access to one internet provider. I mean, how many how many cables come in to your house, right?
This is called zero rating protection, where you say "you know, we're gonna let a company that pays us have faster access to our clients than everybody else".
It happened in India in February and the regulators shut it down. This is from the New York Times piece by Liz Alderman and Amie Tsang:
"In February, Indian regulators shut down a separate Facebook zero rating deal with the mobile phone carrier Reliance Communications, saying carriers should not be allowed to “shape the users' internet experience.”"
And in Portugal they're starting to break these things up. You've seen ISPs all over the world saying, 'we control this data and we can figure out ways to jack up the profits on this thing.'
And if Ajit Pai blows up the internet tomorrow, does away with net neutrality, it's going to be a horrible and messy thing for the United States.