Telecom companies are obviously enjoying the authority that the Federal Communications Commission have bestowed in them.
Upon the demise of net neutrality, each telecom companies devised their own way of blocking and throttling contents and data of the consumers. Based on the latest conducted research from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Northeastern
University, the increase in consumer’s mobile data throttling by major US telecom companies have been alarming. They found out that four leading US carriers are throttling mobile videos especially YouTube and Netflix.
Americans have enjoyed using the internet, most of the times, for communication, broadcasting and advertising, leisure, online shopping, binge watching and much more. But as soon as Ajit Pai became appointed as the FCC chairman by the Trump administration, the use of internet and wireless communication has never been the same.
The federal agency’s decision to repeal net neutrality unleashed broadband and wireless providers from the chains that prohibit them from blocking and throttling of the user’s contents. The rollback of net neutrality enables key telecom firms to restrict or give access to consumers who can or cannot pay for certain websites. This also provides consumers with lesser choices for a resource in favor the consumers themselves.
A wireless carrier such as T-Mobile typically offers “unlimited data plans.“ However, the said plan actually throttles the consumer’s video after reaching a specific data amount. As a matter of fact, a majority of the plans limit mobile device video streaming to barely 480p by default. What good is an “unlimited data plan” if there is a data cap?
This could partly help alleviate congestion and better manage network traffic. BUT, it also gives telecom firms the excuse not to update or upgrade their network infrastructure except for the necessity to do so.
The researchers used the Wehe app and asked 100,000 people to sign up to gather data in a year’s time. Study author, David Choffnes noted that the telecom’s throttling practices not only apply to YouTube but also to Netflix, NBC Sports app, and Amazon’s Prime Video App.
Wehe app has been used to variegate data from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Starting January to May, Verizon has 11,100 throttling incidences, AT&T with 8,398, Sprint recorded 339, and T-Mobile had roughly 3,900. The number of incidences is based on the scope of the networks, but the figures don’t lie. It is evident that Verizon got the most number of throttling incidence compared to the other carriers. Now that 5G connection has been introduced, how will this further affect the consumers’ way of using their devices for connection?
Electronic Frontier Foundation Tech Policy Director Jeremy Gillula said, “As we saw with Verizon throttling the Santa Clara County Fire Department, ISPs are happy to use words like ‘unlimited’ and ‘no throttling’ in their public statements, but then give themselves the right to throttle certain traffic by burying some esoteric language in the fine print.”
Verizon’s data throttling of the fire department during the time of an emergency could have fueled the making of SB 822 into a law. Governor Jerry Brown endorsed Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill on Sept. 30 that will take place on Jan. 1, 2019. The telecom company knew of the exceptions especially during an emergency but ignored them.
States cannot be blamed if they forged they own net neutrality law to protect their people. Adversaries including Big Telecom, the FCC, and the Trump government itself is obviously not a dire fan of an open internet. Their lobbyists are playing dirty by calling senior citizens through robocalls which provide misleading information about SB 822.
With the several issues arising regarding net neutrality, there is a platform that still believes in an open internet. That is why Decenternet makes an effort to provide users with boundless access to the decentralized and centralized websites. In this way, consumers have the liberty to openly communicate online. They would not have to worry that contents will be blocked or throttled since the Decenternet platform does not discriminate but rather treat them equally.