Comcast has announced it will begin charging recurring fees to Level 3 Communications for bandwidth. Level 3 Communications, which has partnered with Netflix, agreed to the terms, under protest, to ensure that customers did not experience a disruption of services.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee sprang into action immediately and has gathered over 60,000 petition signatures to present to the FCC. This comes on the heels of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s expected announcement this week on whether he will continue to protect the Internet and Net Neutrality, which states that data packets are able to be sent impartially and regardless of content, free from fees.
The fact that Comcast has decided to charge fees for bandwidth goes against the idea that the Internet should remain free. This has stirred up concern from customers and users of Internet services. If they, in fact, are allowed to charge this fee, the concern is that other companies will follow suit. Charges and fees could then continually be passed down to everyday Internet users and customers.
This act of trying to initiate charges on something that is considered free has caused an uproar. Comcast will alienate a lot of customers with this decision, as customers begin to show their displeasure by signing petitions. If Comcast gets the go-ahead from the FCC to initiate these charges, there will be a huge backlash as customers will fight back.
It’s time to take the initiative and let Comcast know that its charges are not only unacceptable but also go against the purpose of the Internet. With their impeding purchase of NBC, this could affect our access to media as a whole if Comcast imposes the same fees on other networks. The decision of the FCC is extremely vital to the Internet community as its decision could change the way Internet is accessed.
The hope is that, with the petition, the FCC will listen and stop abuse of this type and protect Net Neutrality. Netflix has continued to offer their customers convenient ways to access movies. The immediate streamlining and availability are not something users are ready to give up. Most are supporting Netflix’s stance on not paying these fees because not only is it against what the Internet represents but costs would eventually spread to the customer.