I have a new Pajamas Media column up regarding the recent Comcast vs. FCC ruling. Instead of posting an exerpt, here are a couple of bits I cut out of that piece when its length got out of hand:
The ISPs have also started to implement policies to slow, if not end, customers’ exodus from their traditional markets. Citing somewhat dubious evidence of “bandwidth hogs,” cable companies have attempted to implement caps on user downloads. The cablers defend these usually-unpopular actions as protecting “normal” users from congestion due to "heavy" users, but the strong suspicion remains that Comcast, Charter, Time Warner and other cable outfits really want to keep customers who pay $80 a month for cable TV from dropping that service entirely in favor of $40 a month broadband.
Not to be left out, the phone companies would also love to kill the internet buffet in favor of more expensive (and profitable) a la care service. Executives at both AT&T and Verizon have noisily insisted that a return to metered service is both inevitable--which may be true, given the duopoly’s mutual disinterest in competing on price--and desirable for customers, which is a much tougher sell.