Do you want to know why this crap pisses me off so much? It's because I have been on both sides of this coin and have a better understanding about this than most people. For 28 years, I activated phones for the wireless carriers. Simply stated, here is why we are here now...
Initially, the carriers made money on the monthly plan charge, minute charges, text charges, and roaming charges. With no less than 4 major carriers competing for your business, competition drove the rates. Today, minutes are unlimited, text is unlimited and data is unlimited. Many carriers like T-MOBILE even offer free global text and data which eliminates roaming charges. If you are a carrier, the question is, how do you stay profitable. Most upsell high resolution add-ons and now sell content. Taking away neutrality will cost consumers and make it harder for small rural providers and small content providers from competing with the big boys.
Today I'm an independent wireless consultant and work hard to protect my clients from getting ripped off by these mega cable and wireless carrier giants as well as their political hacks. Regardless of which side of the political aisle you sit, President Trump and his FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, did you no favor by repealing all of the great things that his predecessor, Tom Wheeler accomplished. I find much irony in the fact that Tom Wheeler, a former FCC Chairman, had previously been the president of the CTIA (Cellular Telephone Industry Association) before becoming FCC chairman. All of the major carriers seemed initially thrilled with Mr Wheeler getting installed as the FCC Chairman. That was until he began to take his job seriously and instead of doing what was best for them, he did what was best for public, at their expense. Mr Wheeler protected consumers and small startups trying to compete by establishing a level playing field.
Enter Jerry Brown, California governor, with an even stronger internet neutrality ruling. What's cool is the governor's law went even further than the previous rules that the Trump administration eliminated. It also prohibits promotions known as zero rating, that give unlimited streaming of certain sites for free but charge for others. Ask yourself how could eliminating internet neutrality possibly be a good thing for consumers.
It hasn't even been a week yet and already the lawsuits are being filed against Jerry Brown's California state initiative to bring back the Net Neutrality laws that pinhead FCC commissioner Ajit Pai repealed. For those who don't know what this means, simply stated, it's all about protecting the consumer. Net Neutrality prevented the big cable companies and cellular carriers from cutting sweetheart deals with some content providers at the expense of others. Do you think for a minute that companies like Netflix, and Hulu could have ever become what they are today if they had to overcome Net Neutrality? The Justice Department didn't even wait until Monday, filing their suit on a Sunday.
It appears California pioneers lots of changes that end up going nationwide. After all, were we not responsible for auto emission laws. The Keebler elf himself, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said that California’s net neutrality law was illegal because Congress granted the federal government, through the F.C.C., the sole authority to create rules for broadband internet providers.“States do not regulate interstate commerce — the federal government does,” Mr. Sessions said in a statement. “Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy.”
Remember, this is the guy with the 1950's reefer madness mentality. He is still trying to roll back state cannabis legalization and would still prosecute medical cannabis patients if he could, despite dozens of states advocating this. Unless you are Comcast, Spectrum, Frontier, AT&T, Verizon, or a politician getting "greased" by these companies, this is terrible for consumers. California's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, indicated that the state would vigorously defend its new law. California “will not allow a handful of power brokers to dictate sources for information or the speed at which websites load,” Mr. Becerra said. “We remain deeply committed to protecting freedom of expression, innovation and fairness.”
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Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.