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Posted by / 06-Dec-2017 07:23

But the harm is obvious — it transfers power from consumers and small companies to gatekeepers.

Next time you see a gold-plated Monster cable at Best Buy, remember that we’re living in a new Gilded Age whose stark inequalities are often masked by corporate spin and demagoguery.

The internet is still in trouble, and now we know how it’s going to get worse.

T-Mobile has just announced "Binge On," a deal that gives customers unlimited access to Netflix, HBO Go, ESPN, Showtime, and video from most other huge media brands (but not You Tube! It’s just like T-Mobile’s "Music Freedom" promotion, which gives customers unlimited high-speed data, as long as they’re listening to music from Spotify, Google Play Music, or one of T-Mobile’s other partners.

He wants you to think T-Mobile is blowing this model of theft up, but it’s actually just playing the same game as everyone else. If net neutrality has a core idea, it’s that regular people ought to be in charge of the internet — especially since the internet is mostly just people.

That doesn't mean T-Mobile is trying to gouge customers, but Binge On is bad for different reasons. Binge On is bad because it gives T-Mobile too much power. That means companies like T-Mobile shouldn’t be picking winners and losers, even if customers appear to be winning in the short term. Legere insists that anybody who wants to be a part of Binge On can be, as long as they meet T-Mobile’s technical specifications. It's not clear if Legere understands what net neutrality means.

These bad ideas should die at T-Mobile before they turn the internet into just another zone of total corporate control.

You know that viral picture that shows ISP internet bundles being sold as cable packages?Worse, its spin as a pro-consumer benefit obscures the manipulation of the broadband market that’s happening right under our noses.John Legere even breathlessly talked trash about Verizon "curating" what people should watch under Go90, even though he’s basically doing the same thing with a different name.That’s basically what’s happening here, except it’s more difficult to stop because, as the FCC might say, there’s "no obvious consumer harm" in giving people free stuff. This scheme is called "zero rating," and people like Susan Crawford have been warning us for a while about the risk it poses for the open internet.The only reason Binge On and Music Freedom sound like such a great pro-consumer deal is because the top four mobile ISPs — Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile — have manufactured a market based completely on artificial scarcity.

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Comcast, likely terrified of losing margins in the TV business, is experimenting with ways to arbitrarily tax its broadband customers by offering them "unlimited" data plans.

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