The Right to a Fair Internet for Photographers Is About to Be Gone

The Right to a Fair Internet for Photographers Is About to Be Gone

On December 14 the Federal Communications Commission will almost certainly be voting in favor of doing away with net neutrality. If you’re not familiar with net neutrality, check out this article we wrote earlier this year on the topic. It is the idea of a free and open Internet. As it stands right now, users are able to access the Internet freely, with no speed or data caps regardless of the websites they visit. If the plan the FCC is proposing passes (and it probably will in a three versus two vote), the Internet as we know it may well be on its way out.

For photographers who own a professional photography business (and for any small business for that matter), this is bad news. It means that in the future, small businesses may be forced to pay ISPs (Internet service providers) so that potential clients are able to access our websites or portfolios as efficiently as the websites of our competitors who may have more money to give to ISPs to favor their websites. ISPs will be allowed to create “fast lanes” for those with the deepest pockets. And as any professional knows, website speed matters to consumers and consumers are notorious for having extremely short attention spans.

Beyond website speeds, videographers and photographers who advertise using videos may suffer as well. ISPs could potentially choose to throttle websites like YouTube or Vimeo based on what companies own which websites and who might be willing to pay more for better access. It's all a mess.

This has been an ongoing talk since regulations were put in place in 2015 to protect consumers by having a neutral Internet. What is different now is the FCC has a chairman who has been staunchly opposed to net neutrality. He argues that the regulations put in place in 2015 were flawed and by abolishing net neutrality, the Internet will be a free marketplace for businesses and that all consumers and companies will have different options to choose from based on their needs. He also promises that ISPs will have to be transparent with whom they choose to throttle or give preference to with “fast lanes”. In essence, this is the only rule for ISPs in the new FCC proposal. They can throttle whoever they want so long as they’re transparent about it. Perhaps if consumers had more options to choose from in regards to what ISPs to use to access the Internet, this may be a viable plan, but as it is right now, with so few ISPs to choose from, and that stand with much more money and power than smaller companies, net neutrality is certainly doomed.

If you stand for net neutrality, please visit battleforthenet.com, enter your phone number and call your congressperson. Urge them to do the right thing and oppose the FCC’s new proposal.

Lead image by pixabay.com via Pexels.

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94 Comments

Hahaha. Did we suffer before this was enacted? Nope.

thomas Palmer's picture

It's the "by default " state, we never had a net without net neutrality.

Not true! Visit Danette's site. Then look at the source of her web page. If you look past the Google Analytics, Heatmap IT, Facebook connect, etc. in the combination of JavaScript and CSS, you'll see the site is built on Showit. They use Cloudflare CDN services (the links are in the code, right there to see). What are Content Delivery Network (CDN) services? Oh, its where someone pays an ISP or backbone provider to put caches of content--scripts, GIFs, JPGs, streams, basically all the 'parts' of the web page--on that provider's backbone so that the items are "closer" (in network time) to the end user. It provides for a better web experience, say, than if Danette hosted the page on a server in her studio office.

CDN has been around for years. Akamai, who may be the largest, had $2.3 billion in sales last year. So the free market--really the state before 2015--has already been doing something like this for years. Akamai was founded in 1998. And, no, you as the end user don't pay extra to see those sites that use it and sites that don't only suffer because the chose their sources poorly. I'm thinking Danette is OK with the service she's getting from Showit. And, yes, the author of the piece is complaining about something that, in effect, they already use...

Robert Nurse's picture

How old are you? That question is not out of disrespect. I'm old enough to remember an Internet where your level of access was based on how much bandwidth you were willing to purchase for your business services. Now, buying a big pipe isn't enough. You have to shell out for priority too. You've got network providers also providing services AND giving their services priority over the competition. That was never done early on. If it was, you got your hand wacked!

thomas Palmer's picture

25, but france is really specific as internet is really cheap and bandwith has always been unlimited. (of course not the speed).

William Howell's picture

This article is patently false and the author simply has no idea what “net neutrality” is really about!
I am shocked, simply shock at the ignorance of some our young people today.
If you think net neutrality is a good thing, then you would think franchises are a good idea, (don’t know what franchises are when it come to utilities, look it up). If you think net neutrality is a good thing, then you think a “tax” on email is a good thing. If you think net neutrality is a good thing, then you believe in subsidies for Netflix, google, and other high traffic users of ISPs.

“Net Neutrality” is not so neutral when you know the truth!

Look I get if you are a left winger, then more government intrusion is just fine by you, but not me, you can include me out!

That comment was spot on! Oh how liberals love for someone else to tell them what to do. Get the government out of everything.

William Howell's picture

I couldn’t agree more!

thomas Palmer's picture

You may just end up with spending more time of your short life to access some services

William Howell's picture

Or, or you may not!

thomas Palmer's picture

You'll save 0,5 seconds on netflix, loose 3 on Youtube, etc .. no ISP will have agreements to even all the major websites. That's not even talking about the smaller ones.

William Howell's picture

I’m not following, please elucidate?

thomas Palmer's picture

the point with net neutrality if to forbid ISP from having private agreements with some services (like subscribe to ISP A and have a quicker access to Youtube for 5$ more / month).

As there are about .. 3/4 ISP / country (average), the oligopoly will probably end up with higher prices in order to surf in decent conditions.

In real life it would be the same if roads owners make you pay more to access Mc Donalds instead of wendy's

William Howell's picture

That, my brother, is what we call a straw man here in America, you set up a false premise, the proceed to knock it down and in this case (net neutrality), with gusto!

Nah, this is nothing more than a money grab, pure and simple!

Read up on the particulars of my comment above, it may just change your mind!

Alex Cooke's picture

As long as we're talking logical fallacies, you might want to check your own:

"This article is patently false and the author simply has no idea what “net neutrality” is really about!"

- Setting up a false dichotomy, no supporting evidence for blanket statement

"I am shocked, simply shock at the ignorance of some our young people today."

- What does age have to do with this? (And besides, I thought it was older people who are thought to have a poorer understanding of the Internet.)
- Ad hominem
- Argument from (age-based) authority

"If you think net neutrality is a good thing, then you would think franchises are a good idea, (don’t know what franchises are when it come to utilities, look it up). If you think net neutrality is a good thing, then you think a “tax” on email is a good thing. If you think net neutrality is a good thing, then you believe in subsidies for Netflix, google, and other high traffic users of ISPs."

- Non-sequitur and what are you even arguing here? You attacked the veracity of this article first, then reshaped your response as an ideological opposition to certain political ideas rather than a question of factual soundness.

William Howell's picture

Ooh cool, I’ll get back to with an argument, footnoted!

This is my argument and I can back up its veracity with sweet sweet facts!

William Howell's picture

Hey I replied to your comment to me, but I had to post in a separate posting.
Hope you get a chance to read it.

thomas Palmer's picture

Who taxes you for emails ? I don't see the point

William Howell's picture

Money is the point, my man. And if you do not who is the taxing authority in this country, I would suggest you read up on it.

thomas Palmer's picture

I'm not american, but I still don't understand the point with net neutrality.

William Howell's picture

Oops, my bad, basically net neutrality is a way to take money from the peeps.

thomas Palmer's picture

I meant "the link with net neytrality" sorry. Can't connect the dots of what you were saying about emails

William Howell's picture

It’s cool, no worries.

No please, explain to us how net neutrality is a tax your emails.

Eric Mazzone's picture

He has zero ansewr because he doesn't understand what he's talking about.

Adam Chandler's picture

Why is giving so much power to big media conglomerates – who, without net neutrality will pick and choose the information we all have access to – a good idea? And how does the government now influence web content? Corporate America is not the solution to everything.

William Howell's picture

I’ll trust “Corporate America” any day before a government entity, don’t you?

Mike Robinson's picture

Trusting Wells Fargo for your accounts, Bank of America for your mortgages, Uber for your personal data, Lehman Bros for your trades, Enron for your electrical needs, Trump University for your education, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities for your retirement, Lance Armstrong Living for your heath needs, Arthur Anderson for your accounting and Parmalat for your milk, is a strategy I would stick with as well. So it follows letting Verizon look out for you when they decide who they will and will not grant access to your computer and at what price they'll demand you pay, and the provider pay, for that privilege would be the logical next step.

William Howell's picture

OMG, you are comparing some IT mishaps with the Teapot Dome scandal, (Teapot Dome scandal is but one example of government malfeasance.)

Mike Robinson's picture

You mean 'corporate fraud'. I'm praising your strategy and suggesting you stick to it. Enjoy your dinner.