Scott wants to chime in on Net Neutrality since it does affect Home Theater Geeks who rely on streaming video. If there had been tiered access, it could affect our entertainment options. Leo says that there hasn't really been a prime example of this, save Comcast and Verizon shaking down Netflix for "interconnect." But that's a prime example of what Scott calls "paid prioritization." And this Net Neutrality decision should stop that. But internet service providers are going to sue against the new rules as well. So it's not over yet.
Adrian is worried that the FCCs proposed Net Neutrality rules are still worse than what we have now. What can he do to have his concerns known? Leo says that the need to protect the Internet is important and most people who are sounding the alarm bells really don't understand it. But if he's concerned, he should go to the FCC and email the commissioners. They're going to be the ones who make the decision on the new rules. You can find their email addresses here:
In spite of smartphones and the Sony Hack, Leo says that the biggest tech story of the year is still the battle over Net Neutrality. With the FCC trying to put rules in place that would give ISPs the ability to give certain paid traffic preferential treatment, instead of treating all bits the same, Net Neutrality has never been more important. But those who control the "last mile" of the Internet, are determined to make the Internet more like cable, rather than have it be open and free.
President Obama this week came out in favor of Net Neutrality by regulating Internet Service Providers as common carriers, giving the FCC the power to prevent paid prioritization. This means Internet Service Providers would not be allowed to charge extra for faster access to customers.
Net Neutrality: President Obama's Plan for a Free and Open Internet (WhiteHouse.gov)…
The net neutrality issue is whether ISPs should be allowed to charge to have access to us, their customers. But Time Warner claims the controversy over fast lane access is a red herring. They claim that the shoe is actually on the other foot, and that Google and Netflix could demand payments from the cable company. Leo says that's why Net Neutrality is important. It protects both sides.
Dave is concerned with Net Neutrality and the deadline looming to comment about the new rules the FCC is trying to put in place. He thinks the government should regulate the big three providers so the little guy won't get lost or swallowed up. Leo says they can't do that because of equal protection laws. The issue is that ISPs shouldn't be able to block content until that content pays for access to the customer. But the courts have thrown out the FCC rules anyway and have come up with new rules, which Leo says has some good and bad aspects.
George wants to know if he can create his own bandwidth. Leo says that bandwidth is created by a network of devices that provide it's share of bandwidth.The more devices, the more bandwidth. Netflix, for instance, has more bandwidth because it has far more distribution to handle the streaming of video data. And there's other networks that interconnect with each other to create more bandwidth and switches. You can't really create bandwidth at home. The only way he could generate more bandwidth is to pay for it.
In their effort to replace their failed UVerse Internet and Entertainment packaging, AT&T wants to buy DirecTV. AT&T has also promised everyone that if the deal goes through, prices will drop. Leo says that would be a first. All too often, when there's less choice, prices go up. And with Comcast going after Time Warner and now AT&T going after DirecTV, he doesn't expect prices to drop any time soon. Quite the opposite, actually.
If you're a Netflix customer using Verizon FiOS or DSL, you may have noticed a message being displayed when video streaming slows down. The message blames Verizon's network congestion for the video buffering. Netflix has been confirming that the issue is with Verizon by checking with other Verizon customers. Verizon sent Netflix a cease and desist letter saying that if they don't stop doing this, they will sue.
AT&T is expected to announce this week that they will be buying DirecTV. Leo says that with Time Warner being bought by Comcast after buying Universal, the landscape is getting smaller, and will leave little room for competition. This is not a good thing for consumers.
AT&T makes bet on video with $48.5 billion DirecTV bid (Reuters)…