Comcast has wiped a long-standing net neutrality pledge from its corporate website. And they did it on the exact same day the FCC proposed repealing Obama’s net neutrality rules. Any questions?
Get ready for an internet defined by high-priced ‘fast-lanes’ and zero protection for the little guy. And ‘little guy’ could mean anyone with less than billions in market capitalization.
Just hours after the FCC proposed to repeal net neutrality guidelines, one of of the largest broadband access providers has eagerly jumped on board. That’s right: according to some sleuthing work at Ars Technica, Comcast erased a corporate pledge to protect net neutrality back in April 27th.
On April 26th, Trump’s Federal Communication Commission (FCC) proposed a full-blown repeal of Obama’s net neutrality architecture. That was furiously set in motion over the Thanksgiving holiday, when FCC chairman Nishad Pai issued a detailed order to terminate net neutrality provisions.
Ars Technica noticed the omission by comparing Comcast’s current site to an archived version on the Wayback Machine.
All of which sets up a formal vote on December 14th. Accordingly, expect Comcast execs to pop champagne corks that very evening.
Here’s what the company’s corporate site looked like on April 26th.
And, here’s what the site looked like on the 27th — just one day after Trump’s FCC announced plans to allow ‘paid prioritization’ and ‘fast lanes.’
Looks like the access provider’s ‘pledge’ was just a ‘commitment’ to appease Obama’s FCC . Once the new administration rolled in, so did Comcast’s ‘commitment’ to an open internet. By 2018, the company could start charging heavy fees for ‘prioritization,’ while making life painful for smaller, up-and-coming sites, apps, and services.
Now, Comcast appears to be scheming on the best strategies to force ‘paid prioritization’ and dramatically boost revenues. Effectively, Comcast will have the power to play toll booth operator for anyone desiring access to their subscriber base.
So far, Comcast has said it won’t engage in ‘anti-competitive prioritization,’ though it hasn’t ruled out plain old ‘paid prioritization’.
So far, the company has indicated that is has ‘no plans’ to implement paid prioritization. But plans can very easily change. “Comcast might really have no specific plans to enter paid prioritization agreements today,” explained Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin.
“But since Comcast’s net neutrality promise now contains no pledge related to even “anti-competitive” paid prioritization, the company may be preparing for a future in which it does implement paid prioritization.”