The recent announcement by Netflix that it has been reducing the video quality of its programs on mobile networks for years – something the new net neutrality rules prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from doing – has sparked a firestorm by opponents of net neutrality regulations.
From the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and cable and telecom interests have come expressions of outrage that Netflix never acknowledged this practice during the time when regulators were actively considering, and ultimately approving, utility-style regulation of ISPs.
Though Netflix has kept a low profile since acknowledging its throttling, it has averred that it did so to assist some of its customers in remaining under data caps. FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, though, takes a dim view of that argument, saying in a recent speech that “Netflix has attempted to paint a picture of altruism whereby it virtuously sought to save these consumers from bumping up against or exceeding their data caps. There is no way to sugarcoat it: The news is deeply disturbing and justly generates calls for government – and maybe even congressional – investigation.” …
The thing that troubles O’Rielly is that this Netflix practice was never revealed in the company’s many filings to the FCC during that agency’s net neutrality proceeding. >> Read More
The opinions expressed above are those of the writer and not of The Media Institute, its Board, contributors, or advisory councils. The full version of this article appeared in The Hill on April 5, 2016.