It’s not silly at all to say that the Internet is the future. If that’s true, than Internet providers are the companies that will be shaping what the future looks like. For that reason it’s important for customers to carefully evaluate ISPs to be certain that the ones they’re giving their money to are the ones they want deciding what the Internet looks like.
What Does This Have to do With Internet Providers in My Area?
Everything, and nothing. For those who haven’t been watching the news there’s been a lot of debate over whether Internet service should be regulated like any other must-have utility (water, electricity, etc.), or if it should be left up to the providers what kind of service is provided. Now in an ideal world where everything makes sense different ISPs would compete with one another to provide the best possible service.
Research has shown that America is not this kind of ideal world.
The net neutrality debate, and all of the facts and research that came out surrounding that debate, have made it quite clear that many of the bigger ISPs in America are not trying to offer better service to their customers. In fact these companies seem determined to make sure that customers, big and small alike, pay even more money for service that would be considered sub-par at best by those overseas. Instead of competing with one another many ISPs have simply made non-competition agreements, or done their best to secure a near-monopoly on a region and then sat, sucking up the profits.
What is Net Neutrality?
The short version is that net neutrality states that all customers data on the Internet is treated the same way. No matter the kind of content, how it’s being accessed, who it’s being accessed by, etc. data, is data, is data. This is actually how Internet service has traditionally functioned, and it’s how most people prefer it to function.
Big ISPs, including Comcast and several others, want to do away with net neutrality. This would allow them to charge more money for certain kinds of data (say streaming video), for certain kinds of websites (charging more to gambling websites, for instance), or to certain clients over others. This has nothing to do with providing better service or attempting to save clients money; companies who fight against net neutrality have no reason except profits to do it.
How to Choose The Best Internet Provider
Picking the best ISP is more than finding the fastest speed or the lowest price. Customers need to choose a company they know cares about the service it provides. A company that doesn’t view its customers as cash cows to be milked and exploited. For that reason it’s important to check all of the options an area provides, and to see what a given company’s stance is on competition, monopoly, and net neutrality along with what it’s setup fees and monthly charges are. Denying money to those who fight against net neutrality sends a message that their behavior simply will not be tolerated.