Netflix, perhaps one of the biggest reasons for people “cutting their cables,” has fired a warning shot over the heads of the broadband internet service providers (ISPs) who might be plotting plans for blocking content or charging more to view it, now that the U.S. Court of Appeals has struck down the FCCs Open Internet Order (OIO).
The purpose of the OIO was to maintain a level playing field for all internet users by keeping ISPs from discriminating and blocking content, the essence of Net Neutrality. Without the OIO, the net is like a big candy store for ISPs. Instead of just providing you an onramp to the web, they can now nickel-and-dime you for how you use it.
On Jan. 22, Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings addressed the issue of Net Neutrality and the U.S. Court’s ruling in a letter to Netflix Shareholders.
The following is an excerpt from the letter:
“Unfortunately, Verizon successfully challenged the U.S. net neutrality rules. In principle, a domestic ISP now can legally impede the video streams that members request from Netflix, degrading the experience we jointly provide. The motivation could be to get Netflix to pay fees to stop this degradation. Were this draconian scenario to unfold with some ISP, we would vigorously protest and encourage our members to demand the open Internet they are paying their ISP to deliver.”
Hastings goes on to say that such actions wouldn’t be in the ISPs best interest. That ISPs would just incur the creation of new regulations that they’d like to avoid.
This isn’t the first time Hastings has spoken out about the possibility of ISPs violating Net Neutrality rules. In 2012, he criticized Comcast over its questionable use of an Xbox 360 video streaming app called Xfinity that definitely wasn’t neutral.
For more on what Hastings had to say about ISPs and Net Neutrality, jump to 16:30 minute point of the 2013 fourth quarter earnings interview.