Many internet users are concerned after the recent D.C. Circuit Court strike-down of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) network neutrality rule. Much of the public is worried that internet service providers will begin to censor, control, limit, and structure additional charges to access premium content.
The court struck down an FCC rule that prevented discrimination in favor or against particular networks and another rule that prohibited network blocking.
One rule remains within the FCC’s network neutrality rule: the requirement that calls for carriers’ (like phone companies and ISPs) full disclosure about blocking or discriminative network behavior.
One of the scenarios that are floating around is that internet service providers will begin to favor particular content or media channels which opens the opportunity to create surcharges to access those networks. For instance, Big Brand Internet A might have an affordable basic internet package, but to access a popular site or service like MSNBC, CNN, ESPN, YouTube, or Netflix, there could be an extra monthly fee.
Rest assured that we have no plans to do anything like that.
A message to our community, our network, and to the Northwest:
Stephouse Networks has no plans to censor, discriminate against, favor, paywall, or filter your web traffic. We’ve built our network from the ground-up in the Northwest by gaining customer trust in our network reliability and speed to access data openly and fairly.
For our residential customers, you’ll be able to access any of your favorite news sites, whether big-brand or independent, without any kind of web traffic favoritism. Gamers will continue to game. Social folks will continue to have the same access to their favorite networks.
For our business customers, you will continue to have fair and open access to networks and services that your business requires for day-to-day operations.
We will continue to provide simple, hassle-free internet access. We will not create nor pass the cost of accessing data from favorite, premium, or popular networks over to our customers. This goes against our mission to provide simple high-speed internet access to the Northwest.
It’s about defending our principles as a company as well.
Over the last 11 years, Stephouse Networks has grown into a local alternative to regional and national high-speed internet services. We have the opportunity to compete because of the open values and fair principles of net neutrality.
Our network might be smaller than some of the national giants, but because of a neutral playing field, we’re able to compete and provide our customers with comparable internet speeds and access.
You subscribe to our high-speed internet access that connects you to the data and networks that you want. We’ve never blocked a blog, restricted access to a website, or suspended a service. This would be a breach of our community’s and the internet’s freedom of speech.
It’s because of your trust in us that we can remain competitive and continue to provide the alternative high-speed internet service that you’ve trusted in for over a decade now. Our entire team won’t abandon that.
Understanding what’s at stake through education and communication.
There are many news sites out there that are coming up with all types of doomsday scenarios and arguments whether for or against network neutrality. We’d like to recommend that our community members try to understand the root of the argument in order to make sense of the media circus around this hot topic.
Here are some resources to take a look at to gain a better understanding of network neutrality and the Circuit Court’s ruling:
- GigaOm’s reporting on the 2014 strike down of the FCC’s net neutrality rulings, including the full text.
- University of Southampton School of Electronics & Computer Science unbiased presentation about Network Neutrality.
- A comprehensive collection of articles about network neutrality by the man who began the discussion years ago, Professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School.
- Wired’s focus and perspective on the actual threats of the FCC ruling outside of media hyperbole.
Also, if you want to speak out about or against this ruling with your local government representatives, please use the following links:
Of course, we’ll always be here to answer any questions that you might have about high-speed internet service, data traffic, and other topics.