Would ISPs block social media, YouTube, and online shopping?

By ahawkua ·
Would ISPs block social media, YouTube, and online shopping without net neutrality?

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Preferred Content

by TheChas In reply to Would ISPs block social m ...

Without net neutrality, I would expect ISPs to primarily give preferred content preference in a number of ways.

First, any content produced by the ISP or related companies would load faster and would likely show in pop-over ads when you went to a competing website.

Next would be any service that pays the ISP for access or speed.

Worst case could be redirects. Take the case of Comcast in the US. If you go to a news website, they could redirect you to say the MSNBC site over CNN or Huffington Post.

As to social media and YouTube, I could foresee an ISP blocking any content that they consider biased against them, or showing you how to work around the limits they set for users.

Shopping could end up like my news example, If a company paid the ISP for access, their site could pop-over or even redirect when you tried to access another shopping site.

One of the issues several years ago before net neutrality was formalized was that ISPs were making plans to charge content providers for both network speed and total data. This is a major concern for streaming sites and services that cord cutters use. Again using Comcast as an example, you might have no issue using the NBC site or Hulu. But, you could be faced with slow speed or higher fees if you use CBS or Netflix.

Still, the primary concern if net neutrality ends is that small independent news and blog sites could be throttled back in speed so much that their users would give up on visiting them.

Some of this could self regulate if users protest enough. However, in much of the US, the ISPs have little concern for the will of the customer as they have exclusive rights to provide service. Unlike retail or even most web services, you often have no viable option but to use the ISP that is wired in your community.


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