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Net Neutrality Is Over Monday, But Experts Say ISPs Will Wait To Screw Us (inverse.com) 243

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Inverse: Parts of the Federal Communication Commission's repeal of net neutrality is slated to take effect on April 23, causing worry among internet users who fear the worst from their internet service providers. However, many experts believe there won't be immediate changes come Monday, but that ISPs will wait until users aren't paying attention to make their move. "Don't expect any changes right out of the gate," Dary Merckens, CTO of Gunner Technology, tells Inverse. Merckens specializes in JavaScript development for government and business, and sees why ISPs would want to lay low for a while before enacting real changes. "It would be a PR nightmare for ISPs if they introduced sweeping changes immediately after the repeal of net neutrality," he says.

While parts of the FCC's new plan will go into effect on Monday, the majority of the order still doesn't have a date for when it will be official. Specific rules that modify data collection requirements still have to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, and the earliest that can happen is on April 27. Tech experts and consumer policy advocates don't expect changes to happen right away, as ISPs will likely avoid any large-scale changes in order to convince policymakers that the net neutrality repeal was no big deal after all.

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Net Neutrality Is Over Monday, But Experts Say ISPs Will Wait To Screw Us

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So long as ISPs are allowed to discriminate by usage/content/device type in their terms of service, net neutrality is (has always been) a complete joke/bogus. Not being allowed to run an httpd server with *zero* fear that the ISP could legitimately choose to cease accepting you as a customer because of it, *entirely* defeats the intended level playing field net neutrality was touted as providing. The legaleze word games and fragile language that kept getting shot down in courts is an indication of what a

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Remember: always cook frogs slowly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This is a common misconception - frogs don't stay in boiling water, even if it's heated slowly. The only time that a frog will not jump out of even a slowly-heated pot is when the sides are too steep. I guess frogs are smarter than humans, in a lot of ways.

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock@po[ ]c.com ['eti' in gap]> on Monday April 23, 2018 @04:03AM (#56487027)

    Don't you think the joker laughs at you?

    "Net Neutrality Is Over Monday, But Experts Say ISPs Will Wait To Screw Us"

    We need experts to tell us this? Are we all blithering idiots who need to be told common-sense business tactics? Hey, we've discovered that there's an apartment shortage in my area. I wish I could find an expert to tell me whether rents will go up in the near future.

  • by Powercntrl ( 458442 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @04:23AM (#56487055)

    My neighborhood is served by Spectrum (Charter Communications). They have a whole one-and-a-half stars on Yelp. Their prices suck, and they send lots of junk mail [tinypic.com], even if you're already a customer. Oh, they also frequently call you on your cell phone and attempt to up-sell you, too (even when you're on the do-not-call list, and have told them repeatedly you do not want marketing calls). Their broadband service is also prone to many random brief outages. Short of starting a cable channel where their executives murder kittens on live TV, I can't imagine their reputation sinking much lower.

    We have no other choice of land-based high speed provider. AT&T no longer offers DSL, and they have no plans to ever offer U-Verse. The only other competing providers are cellular networks, which don't offer the kind of data allowance you'd need for a home internet connection. Spectrum literally has a monopoly over the markets they serve. If they decided tomorrow that Netflix is now an extra $5/mo, or online gaming is an extra $15/mo, the choices are "cough it up", or "do without."

    • I don't know about you, but I have a choice between Comcast and xfinity. /s
      • by Kenja ( 541830 )

        I don't know about you, but I have a choice between Comcast and xfinity. /s

        Which actually is a choice... Comcast Buisness service, while expensive, is no nonsense and fairly OK. I dropped XFinity in favor of Comcast and have no regrets.

    • mostly because there's a raft of companies they'd like to buy out and/or merge with and the last time they tried even our staggeringly corrupt legislature didn't let them. ISPs would like very much for you to forget how awful they are so they can get back to the work of being awful.
  • It's already started (Score:5, Interesting)

    by twdorris ( 29395 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @04:26AM (#56487063)

    They're already priming the pump. I saw a Comcast commercial just two days ago that was claiming how great their new, faster service was going to be and it "included Netflix". I nearly dropped my plate. It's coming. ISPs will treat websites like channels soon enough and you're going to need to buy packaged bundles to get the websites you want.

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @05:36AM (#56487163) Journal

      ISPs will treat websites like channels

      This, in 6 words, is why we need Net Neutrality, in case anyone is still asking why.

      • by sinij ( 911942 )

        ISPs will treat websites like channels

        This, in 6 words, is why we need Net Neutrality, in case anyone is still asking why.

        I am sorry, premium access to ./ is not included in your subscription channel. Contents of this website will be uploaded via pigeon carriers. Please....

        Loading...

        Loading...

        Loading...

        Loading...

        Loading...

      • Just end the government-granted ISP monopolies, and any ISP which tries to treat websites like channels will go out of business as all their customers flee to competing ISPs. That's the only reason net neutrality is even an issue - the government-granted artificial monopolies limiting most Americans to a "choice" of just 1 or 2 ISPs. The only reason ISPs try BS like this is because they know their customers can't leave.
    • by jrq ( 119773 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @06:56AM (#56487269)
      To be fair, they have been advertising this for a while, and what they're doing is bundling a subscription to Netflix.
      Creepy nonetheless.
    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @07:05AM (#56487281)

      What does it have to do with net neutrality. If anything, it is a case of product tying, not a net neutrality violation.

      Net neutrality is only about discriminating internet traffic, not including a service you may or may not want in their package.
      Furthermore, AFAIK, net neutrality says nothing about peering. Peering is the direct connection between your ISP and Netflix's (or whatever) ISP. This is very important for popular services because the global internet isn't fast enough to support them, making them almost unusable during peak hours. So if the "fast Netflix" just means better peering, again, no net neutrality violation.

      • As I understand it, Netflix was working with Comcast to put servers directly on Comcast's network, making it even less of a net neutrality violation. It's not news that wealthier websites/services can afford faster service, better connections, more servers, better CDNs, etc.
      • by twdorris ( 29395 )

        What does it have to do with net neutrality. If anything, it is a case of product tying, not a net neutrality violation.

        Agreed. As I admitted, I only half-heard the commercial in passing and *ass*umed they were exclaiming how cool it was that their internet service allowed access to Netflix. Clearly a HUGE, unfounded leap on my part.

        If they are, in fact, just offering a bundled Netflix account as a previous poster pointed out, then my response was unwarranted. For now. I strongly suspect we'll see this develop further, though, as I recall Netflix scrambling a while back because ISPs were throttling their servers.

    • Treating sites like channels has happened in the past already, but I expect alternative services to pop up once the douchebags take over the web. ... Ok, they alreay have, but I mean once they prevent normal people from doing their thing with the web. As soon as that happens there will be a move away from the web. And it will happen fast. That's what I expect anyway.

      • but I expect alternative services to pop up once the douchebags take over the web

        The problem is that in many cities, by law, there can only be one ISP (at least for cable, for DSL you can usually get more than one, and dialup is still an option if you really want to be pedantic). This is basically cities screwing themselves, but it happens a lot.

    • Comcast commercial just two days ago that was claiming how great their new, faster service was going to be and it "included Netflix".

      That probably just means Comcast agreed to host one of Netflix's Open Connect Appliance CDN servers [netflix.com].

      An OCA server host the entire Netflix library so Netflix bandwidth no longer has to go through the ISP's upstream provider. Netflix gives them away for free, which would make it sound like an easy win-win for any ISP wishing to reduce its upstream bandwidth bill. But the

    • either by voting in their Primary, voting for different general election candidates or just plain voting? Because if not, this is all just pissin' in the wind...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I got screwed already by the ISPs.

    I can only choose one, and they suck.

    I'm pretty sure much like net neutrality laws in the first place, the ISP's lobbied for this situation, too.

  • Lawsuits (Score:5, Informative)

    by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @06:13AM (#56487213)

    There are a bunch of lawsuits in the pipeline over net neutrality. I imagine the ISPs will at least wait until they start to see how they will be resolved before they do anything serious to change the current situation.

    • But I have large doubts that there will be much of a wait. I wouldn't put it past any of them to make changes and then in court argue that going back would cost too much money or be too hard since they've now grown used to having those profits.

      That's the sort of scum we're dealing with here.

  • That's fine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @06:14AM (#56487215)
    It will be the perfect excuse for me to disconnect and going back to doing things in real life, the way we were intended to. I am spending entirely too much time on the internet these days and missing out on what life has to offer. The fact that the ISP is now going to screw us just makes it that much easier for me to kick Verizon fios to the curb.
  • After the Obama NN law to offer zero rated service for their music/video service and a few weeks later Comcast, AT&T and TWC announced their merging with a bunch of smaller players the FCC had blocked but the FTC allowed eventually culminating in the TWC/Comcast merger.

    That's luckily going away so the companies will be broken and the playing field will be leveled, right?

  • Merckens specializes in JavaScript development for government and business

    That is the only person quoted in the article, and that quote is the only thing establishing his "expert" status. Unclear how that translates to "expert in what ISPs will or will not do".

    • OK OK my bad. Missed the other one, didn't scroll down far enough, probably since I have the wrong screen aspect ratio.
  • Compared to the rest of the world, the poor US consumer is already well and truly ass-raped by the cable / ISP cartel.
    Having taken bazillions in subsidies and done precisely fuck-all in return, (with fiber a distant dream for most USians), they're effective mono/duopolies in most areas, with high prices, low speeds and terrible customer service.

    Now that their bought-and-paid-for politicians/lobbyists have finally managed to kill NN, they'll be opening the dusty box marketed "cable TV 101"...soon you'll only

    • We are just being lightly screwed, we had some protection at least. I'm pretty sure without neutrality, given the near complete monopoly/duopoly structure in nearly all areas, it's going to be a full on kidnapping, bloody wrists and feet manacled to a poorly lit, moist, and dirty industrial basement, where the only release will be the fond memories of just occasional light sodomy.
  • With the demise of Net Neutrality, I kind of expect the big ISPs to try wringing money out of major internet sites. For example, threaten to throttle Netflix unless Netflix agrees to pay some sky-high peering fees, or inject high latency and dropped packets to Facebook and Google unless these companies also pay the insane peering fees. Don't be surprised if the cost of Netflix goes up as a result, even if your ISP isn't one of the big ISPs doing this. Everyone seems to expect ISPs to create fast lanes fo

    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      It is not called "peering" when you are dumping terabits per second onto someone else's network and have basically zero traffic back into your network in a completely non-asymetrical fashion.

      You call that "paid transport"...

  • Frog boiling 101 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @09:26AM (#56487873)
    While I'm sure the monopoly ISPs enjoy let's them give no fks, I'm confident they will do a slow boil on us frogs. Without rioting in the streets, it will be much easier on them if suddenly the senate and/or congress flips blue later this year.
  • Net neutrality was a fix in search of a non-existent problem, and eliminating it won't magically make that problem poof into existence. When (IF) the problem actually arrives, then is the time to go after it legislatively. "Correcting" things ex ante is just stupid. As for this article, it's clearly setting up to explain away what will soon to be obvious: the end of net neutrality doesn't bring about the apocalypse that the more sweaty purveyors of doom were predicting.

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