Netflix or Consumers: Who Loses More with Death of Net Neutrality?

Netflix or Consumers: Who Loses More with Death of Net Neutrality?Net neutrality was killed, for now, with a federal appeals court ruling on Tuesday that essentially dismissed the Federal Communications Commission rules requiring Internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.
Net neutrality basically keeps telecom giants from blocking, restricting or discriminating against certain streams of traffic, pretty much giving U.S. consumers all content available on the Internet — nobody who’s blogging about what or who’s selling whatever.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with Verizon’s challenge of the FCC rules. The FCC can’t regulate Internet service providers like it does phone companies, the court said.
The bottom line: Consumers could end up getting some content faster, such as those by richer content providers that can afford to pay higher fees to ISPs. The content providers without deep pockets could be denied access to their targeted audience, including nonprofits and community websites that rely on the Internet to connect with members.
The consumer would be left pretty much without a say.
Netflix is the leading streaming video provider on the Internet, and it normally represents a notable slice of the data flowing across the Internet, so Wall Street analysts see the company facing additional costs from the loss of net neutrality.
Netflix may face as much as $75 million to $100 million in annual content delivery costs to cable companies for the right to provide residential customers streaming content, George Askew, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, projected in a note to investors on Wednesday.
Just the prospect of Netflix facing such a hurdle caused Netflix shares to fall by more than 2 percent Wednesday.
Without net neutrality, the Internet is missing it’s “level playing field,” consumer and Internet advocates say.
Here is an example from BusinessInsider: “Netflix and Time Warner Cable could strike a deal that makes Netflix only available to Time Warner Cable customers (or, more likely, only available to certain customers at its fastest speed). This kind of deal may make businesses a lot of money. The only people hurt are users.”
In the example, Netflix may be forced to strike such a deal to avoid massive fees or loss of customers. But either way Netflix is forced to pay, one way or another, without knowing how many customers would be lost if ISPs start offering Internet “bundles” — like those found in cable television offerings.

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