In case you were wondering where that whole “Network Neutrality” debate ended up, legislation/regulation is still being ruminated upon by the policy wonks at the FCC, Congress critters are still confused about “tubes”, but the knives have come out between content providers and ISPs. Netflix and Verizon are currently spatting over a particularly accusatory “error message” Netflix has been “testing” that shows a warning to its subscribers that Verizon’s network is too congested for them to enjoy Netflix content in HD. This, not just weeks after Google started its own page that shows you how well your ISP does when transmitting YouTube videos to you. In case you were wondering, most consumers weren’t pleased that Google & Netflix confirmed their worst suspicions: their ISP sucked when it came to watching videos, and it’s a safe bet that video watching wasn’t the only thing suffering from poor performance.
What this means for you:
Nothing as of this moment. Google and other content providers have been very vocal in the Network Neutrality debate, but when it comes to dealing with the government, “vocal” means writing a very stern letter and rounding up lobbyists to start scratching backs and/or eyes. But over here in the real world, the ringside bell just signaled another round of sparring and Netflix came out swinging. Verizon immediately lawyered up and sent its own sternly worded demand to Netflix to cease and desist, who just shrugged and said, “Hey, it was just a test. But we might be doing that again in the future. And oh, by the way, this is really your fault to begin with.” We’re fairly certain that it got a ton of attention from (allegedly) poorly served Verizon customers, who, like millions of other Americans, are basically stuck with zero choice when it comes to internet broadband. Get settled in, this is going to be a long fight, and those of us on the sidelines will probably get bloodied just as much as the titans, because, in case you hadn’t noticed, we’re all players on their gigantic chessboard.
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