Dear 100 Hour Board,
Sooooooooo net neutrality ended, right? But my internet and Netflix prices haven’t increased and I have the same internet speed. Did anything actually happen?
Dear Yikes 3000,
Here's the thing, friend. It really hasn't been that long since net neutrality ended, only a few months. It's way too cartoonishly evil for internet service providers to immediately start blocking everything they don't disagree with or slowing everything down. In this article I read from PBS, they also talk about how it's very possible that existing services (like Netflix and Hulu) won't be affected at all. People have gotten really used to the normal speed of these services, and would notice the change. However, if ISPs slow down a new, emerging service, they might get away with it. Or, they may charge more to process higher quality video, like 4K. Imagine changing the quality setting on YouTube and having to pay a few extra dollars a month. Thirdly, it's not just prices and speed. ISPs now have the freedom to block content that they don't like. Maybe they don't want you to know about uprisings in a foreign country, maybe they don't want you to be able to access news articles about shady stuff they're doing, or maybe they hate the 100 Hour Board. They can route you to a 404 error page and you wouldn't know the page was ever supposed to be there in the first place if you weren't paying close attention.
The moral of the story is that we aren't out of the woods yet. We're the frog in the pot of water, and they could be hoping they can turn up the heat without us noticing.