Imagine an internet where AT&T will happily cover the costs of your data for using certain apps—provided you’re already an AT&T mobile customer, of course. Imagine an internet where Verizon can deliberately slow down Netflix traffic. Imagine an internet where exceedingly wealthy companies can pay for better connections, at the expense of throttling the connections of those who don’t or can’t pay. Imagine AT&T, Timer Warner, and Comcast being able to advantage and prioritize their own content—such as HBO, NBC, and DirectTV Now—by making it stream faster, or by allowing it to not count towards data plans, or by slowing down competing YouTube options. An internet where today’s few and powerful ISPs are the gatekeepers, raising the barrier and cost of entry for new startups or potential ISPs. An internet where ISPs can control exactly how consumers view content—not based on choice or quality, like it should be—but rather because they have the keys to the internet.

If you've followed our coverage of net neutrality proceedings in the US, you'll know that there's been a fierce emboldening in the US Government's enablement of a class-based internet. AT&T's patent-pending approach to deploying a micro-transaction-esque content delivery hierarchy for streamed video and gaming content is starting to look a lot scarier right now.

net-neutrality-comicImage Source: CFC Oklahoma.

After the FCC's proposal to allow ISPs the dictation of "normal speed" and "low-speed" traffic in the form of extorting content providers (Netflix, YouTube), internet backlash has prompted a disingenuous addendum by the Commission. Federal Communications Commission Chariman and mendacious troglodytic neophyte of technology Tom Wheeler is reported to have added to his plan:

Two things are going to be happening this year for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that will directly affect the internet and its present management. The first is the upcoming preliminary vote on the revamped rules of “net neutrality” on May 15th; the second has to do with the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which would give a 40% userbase share to an ISP that already has a history of throttling users and businesses.

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Telecom juggernaut AT&T—best known for its award-winning innovations in consumer exploitation and technology suppression—recently filed a patent for a transfer-based bandwidth allocation system. The patent (US20140010082 A1) aims to leverage recent degeneration in net neutrality laws to creatively charge consumers more for specific types of internet usage. For instance, file-sharing, video streaming and downloading, and certain types of game patch distribution methods could result in accounts being flagged for increased billing in AT&T's new system.

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The new patent is entitled "Prevention of Bandwidth Abuse of A Communications System." AT&T, however, requires no editorial assistance in making their own patent sound evil, stating in its abstract (bold for emphasis):

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