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CNN Mistakes Internet Overcharging for Net Neutrality

Phillip Dampier October 24, 2009 Data Caps, Net Neutrality, Public Policy & Gov't, Video 3 Comments

With all of the discussion about Net Neutrality recently, the mainstream media often has a difficult time absorbing what this concept means and ends up confusing it with Internet Overcharging schemes.  CNN is the latest to make the mistake — not once but twice in three days as Nicole Lapin and Tony Harris discuss how Net Neutrality policies will impact consumers.

Lapin suggests this week’s decision by the FCC to begin writing a formal Net Neutrality policy was a done deal, and that it would prevent Internet providers from charging higher prices for consumers who use their broadband accounts a lot.

Both statements are incorrect.

The FCC is only at the start of writing a formal Net Neutrality policy.  The basic tenets Chairman Julius Genachowski would like to see a part of a formal Net Neutrality rulemaking are on the table, but there is plenty of time between now and a final vote for telecommunications industry lobbyists to sweep several pages from Genachowski’s wish-list to the floor (and replace them with their own.)

Nothing in the proposed Net Neutrality policies would currently prohibit providers from moving to Internet Overcharging schemes like usage allowances, overlimit fees, and other pricing changes that are ultimately designed to reduce usage and extract higher pricing from consumers.

Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) has a bill to put a stop the Internet Overcharging schemes that continues to need your support and advocacy with your member of Congress.  See the Take Action section for further details.

For the record:

Net Neutrality: A set of policies that prevents Internet providers from discriminating against certain broadband services or website content providers with speed throttles, blocks, or other impediments.  Providers would not be allowed to set up special premium traffic lanes with faster speed delivery of online web content for “preferred partners,” while leaving everyone else on a slower traffic lane.  It preserves the Internet we have today.

Internet Overcharging: Practices by broadband providers to limit usage of your broadband service and/or charge higher pricing based on arbitrary claims that consumers are “overusing” their unlimited broadband service.  These include usage caps or limits, usage allowances, consumption billing that includes usage allowances, overlimit fees/penalties for exceeding those limits, speed throttles that kick in when a user reaches their usage limit, and any accompanying services sold to consumers who think they might exceed their plan allowance (overlimit “insurance” policies, extra usage blocks sold at premium prices, etc.)

CNN’s Tony Harris talks with Nicole Lapin about Net Neutrality, and how the policy impacts small businesses that sell on the web.  (October 21 – 3 minutes)

Earlier today the two revisited the issue of Net Neutrality to explore the outcome of the FCC Net Neutrality decision:

CNN’s Tony Harris and Nicole Lapin discuss the “victory” for Net Neutrality proponents.  (October 23 – 2 minutes)

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. Smith6612 says:

    Geez, is that guy in the first video paying for a T1 line? $200 a month sounds like a T1 connection!

    • Tim says:

      Probably a business connection price. I got priced for a business connection and the lowest I could get was $90/month for an inferior connection to my residential one. I was amazed how much they gouge the business side.

  2. Michael Chaney says:

    Wow! CNN really has no clue do they. Don’t they have some techie there that can explain it to them?

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