Remember earlier this year when net neutrality got killed off

When net neutrality got killed off everybody said it wouldn't matter? Well, it seems it might have mattered after all.

Recently, three US Senators sent letters of inquiry to four wireless carriers. They are investigating allegations that the carriers have been throttling (slowing down) video services or Skype video calls.

The allegations stem from recent research that utilizes the Wehe testing platform, which indicated that all four carriers had been doing exactly that.

As the Senators say in their letter:

"All online traffic should be treated equally, and Internet service providers should not discriminate against particular content or applications for competitive advantage purposes or otherwise."

Here's a quick summary

What the Wehe tests revealed: 

  • Indications that AT&T has been throttling speeds of YouTube, Netflix, and NBC Sports
  • Indications that Verizon has been throttling speeds of Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Netflix
  • Indications that Sprint has been throttling YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Skype Video calls
  • Indications that T-Mobile has been throttling Netflix, NBC Sports, and Amazon Prime

It's likely true that much of the throttling can be explained by all four carriers' policies relating to limiting video throughput, especially where low-cost plans are concerned. However, it still raises disturbing questions, as these are exactly the types of issues the old net neutrality rules avoided.

Unfortunately, the new rules allow for a variety of abuses to go unchecked for months, years, or longer, and require significant oversight that simply didn't exist before.

Our perspective

Even more disheartening, there's an easy fix for it.  Net neutrality matters because it allows the internet to be the ultimate level playing field.  The sooner we can get back to that state of affairs, the better for everyone.  Until that time, a cloud of suspicion is going to hang over all the major carriers every time evidence like this surfaces.

The author

Thanks for reading this short post. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPia Blogs. I am also available at dwpia on LinkedIn, at dwpia on Facebook, and @dwpia on Twitter.

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT Support

Denis S Wilson

I am President and Principal Consultant for DWP Information Architects: specializing in managed IT support for smaller healthcare practices, clinics, insurance companies, law firms, and construction companies in Ventura County and San Fernando Valley. And have created cost-effective IT solutions, for over 20 years, specializing in cybersecurity and regulatory compliance.

I am also a published author and speaker, working extensively with organizations that include: the State of California, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE, Women's Business Centers, and Small Business Development Centers. As well as providing small business technology education programs through business and professional associations.

Contact me if you would like me to speak at your meeting.

Meanwhile, check out this report

Executive Report: 10 Hidden IT Risks That Might Threaten Your Business