Telecoms Don’t Respect Net Neutrality Rules

by Mike on March 20, 2016

in News

Privacy advocates led by Fight for the Future (FFTF) have alerted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about continuing Net Neutrality abuses. The FCC ruled against ISP throttling and traffic discrimination last year, but some companies are doing all they can to flout the ruling. The FCC has been looking into the issue and will make their decision soon.

Above the Law

AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile and Verizon were the centers of attention throughout the entire Net Neutrality debate. They are in the spotlight again now as they continue to find ways around the Net Neutrality rules passed by the FCC last year. The rules have been codified, but this is the first time that they are being challenged in this way. ISPs that make money by regulating the flow of traffic on the Internet stood to lose a lot when the Net Neutrality rules were being discussed, and this is why they fought so hard. But their reasoning was so broken that they could not stand up against so many voices crying for fair Internet practices. They continued to fight when advocates took the matter before Congress, but they just keep losing because Net Neutrality is a good thing. Now their strategy is to simply ignore the rules and keep doing what they have always done.

FFTF is keeping a close watch on the FCC, and has launched an online campaign to get the public involved. This campaign is similar to the one that they ran to gather support for the Net Neutrality rules. The FCC may be tempted to just let these ISPs carry on as usual, but not if enough supporters can send in their comments against the unfair practices of these tech giants.

No company should be allowed to defy the law, but they are trying since the FCC never made a clear ruling on zero rating. Instead, the FCC said that it would rule on cases of zero-rating individually. Zero rating refers to how they lift the data caps of some Internet services so they and their customers are not limited. But this is just another way of discriminating against certain types of traffic by giving some services an unfair advantage while others get throttled connections when their customers reach their limits. To keep their users happy, companies therefore have to pay more money to these ISPs to raise or lift their caps. So, this zero rating is the exact same discrimination – fast lanes and slow lanes – that the whole Net Neutrality issue was originally about.

More Voices Needed

As the FCC has been looking over the zero rating issue, only these four companies – AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile and Verizon – have been contributing their arguments. The people need to stand up again and speak out lest the FCC be swayed by more sweet talk. The FFTF campaign will show the FCC that everyone is watching them to see what they will do.

This is a crucial time for Net Neutrality and all that it stands for. We would like to think that the FCC would defend its ruling, but we can’t leave that to chance. This is the first test to see how they will implement the rules, but we also need to do all we can to ensure that the principles of Net Neutrality are upheld. It is time for the FCC to prove that they are ready to dole out the appropriate punishment for violating the ruling.

The FFTF campaign, which is found at, will not only pass on all user comments to the FCC, but will also pass them on to Congress. The representatives of the people will see them and have to act on them to preserve the will of the people for fair treatment on the Internet. The campaign has been improved since the first Net Neutrality battle, and users will find the process much faster and easier. The comments will also be delivered much faster, which will mean a lot since the FCC is making their decision as we write this.

What AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile and Verizon are relying on is that the fire that was ignited over Net Neutrality will die down. They have depended on this all along, even after the FCC passed their ruling on the matter. What we have to do now is prove that we are just as firm and passionate about fair Internet practices now as we were in the heat of the debate. Protecting the open Internet was always going to be a continuous struggle because these companies and more are always going to try and take it away from us. AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile and Verizon are determined to protect their profits, and we have to be even more determined than they are to protect our rights and freedoms.

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