Net neutrality has been a big issue in recent months, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued new rules aimed at assuring all data is treated equally and to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from holding data speeds hostage.
But a study released by BattlefortheNet concludes that the major internet access providers in the nation–AT&T, Time Warner, Comcast, and Verizon–are indeed slowing down data in dozens of cities across the United States, which affects 75 percent of all internet users in the country.
Tim Karr of Free Press, one of the groups that comprises BattlefortheNet, remarked:
“For too long, internet access providers and their lobbyists have characterized net neutrality protections as a solution in search of a problem. Data compiled using the Internet Health Test show us otherwise – that there is widespread and systemic abuse across the network. The irony is that this trove of evidence is becoming public just as many in Congress are trying to strip away the open internet protections that would prevent such bad behavior.”
And yet these same companies are seeking to get even bigger, which would leave customers with fewer options when it comes to who provides them access to the World Wide Web. AT&T recently announced plans to merge with DirecTV. Charter Communications has also filed notice of a plan to acquire Time Warner in a deal valued at $55 billion.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has not been shy in his criticism of these megamergers which will create even larger telecom behemoths, commenting:
“History proves that absent competition a predominant position in the market such as yours creates economic incentives to use that market power to protect your traditional business in a way that is ultimately harmful to consumers.”
So if you’ve noticed that your internet connection has gotten logy at times lately, and you have a major ISP as your access point, you now know who you can thank for that. And if the telecom giants have their way, you’ll have even fewer choices in the years ahead.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.