Comcast Buys NBC: Why Net Neutrality is Needed NowDecember 3rd, 2009 by WordPlop
It has just been announced that Comcast has made a deal to buy 51% of NBC. It hasn’t officially happened yet, and the paperwork hasn’t been done, but according to sources it is a done deal. What exactly does this have to do with the internet? NBC owns 30% of Hulu. Where does net neutrality come in? Comcast will be able to effectively shut down Hulu, and only allow NBC shows to be played online through Comcast.
Of course Comcast has claimed that they will not shut down Hulu. But without Net Neutrality laws to protect the internet from this sort of thing, Comcast will be able to affect what you can watch online. If you have Comcast internet, they can give NBC video streaming higher priority than competitors’ videos. That means if you want to stream a non NBC video online, it will be very slow, or even impossible.
The chance that Comcast will do this is not very high, but they have the ability now that they own NBC. This would make it unfair for competitors. Having Net Neutrality protection would prevent this from happening. While I am against government regulation for most situations, here it seems like it’s the only way to make sure the United States will keep having a fair and open internet. This is because of the way internet provider companies work in the US. A lot of places and regions in the US only have one broadband internet provider. This is kind of like having a monopoly, but it isn’t. If someone has only one choice of broadband internet, that broadband company can fully control the delivery of the internet to the customer. They can only allow access to certain sites, or slow down other sites. This would destroy the purpose of the internet, where currently every website is equal.
The internet needs to be protected with net neutrality. It cannot be allowed to be filtered by the internet companies. If ISP’s start filtering customers’ internet connections, the internet as we know it will stop existing.
Image via TechRepublic.com
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