Net Neutrality: What Are Netflix and Google Doing?

By Novak Bozovic / December 25, 2017

Those who care about Net neutrality know all about how to fight for the freedom of the Internet. There are many ways you can join the fight and help us to keep the Internet open. However, we can only hope that our calls to representatives will do us good. After all, there are more powerful players in this game who could help us only if they wanted to. So, what are Netflix, Google, and other tech giants doing?

Tech Giant’s Net Neutrality Journey

In case you think that Net neutrality is something new, you’re wrong. Talks about this preventative set of rules started all the way back in 2014. This is when Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, talked about all kinds of restrictions that could affect each and every Internet user. Netflix wasn’t the only one who wanted their voice to be heard. Facebook and Google were pretty vocal as well. It was noted that representatives of tech giants actually visited the FCC in 2015 – when Net neutrality became official. It is clear that they had an important role in creating these rules and making them official.

However, what is happening now? You have probably noticed that tech giants are strangely quiet. There are some tweets here and there, but they are nothing more than publicity stunts. The situation has changed, everyone can see that. However, what is the reason for this?

What Are Tech Giants Doing Now?

Back in May of 2017, we have started to see what tech giants think about Net neutrality. Hastings, who was a big fan of Net neutrality, changed his mind. At a tech conference held in May, he said that Net neutrality isn’t a big deal because the company has grown big enough. In fact, there are some indications that Netflix is in talks with Comcast to ensure their website stays in the ‘fast lane’ of the Internet. It seems like Netflix is already trying to adapt to the new rules of the game.

Net Neutrality

It is interesting to note that Netflix’s revenues back in 2014 were around $5.5 billion. Today, the company’s revenues are more than twice that. It is clear that Netflix is strong enough and sure enough that the dismissal of Net neutrality won’t affect their business in the long-term.

Today, companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon are quiet. When asked for a comment, major news publications received a response from Scott Haber. He is a spokesperson for the Internet Association which is a trade group that represents a number of tech giants. He said that the organization was very active on behalf of its members. However, you can see that tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon are more than comfortable letting the trade group speak on their behalf. It’s clear that they have given up a long time ago.

The Battle for Monopoly

Instead of fighting for Net neutrality, tech giants are currently trying to find their place in a whole new digital world. It is clear that the competition is tough and we are sure they are interested in making agreements with ISPs.

Net Neutrality

At the moment, there are indications that AT&T wants to buy Time Warner (who owns HBO). On the other hand, Verizon showed interest in buying Yahoo and AOL who are content companies. In a world without Net neutrality, all it matters is who gets the fast lanes. There are very little available spots, and the battle for monopoly is on.

Final Thoughts

Net neutrality brought a helpful set of rules to ensure that ISPs can't make random decisions. Without these rules, a lot can happen. It is clear that you’ll need to pay more money to continue using the Web in the same way as now.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, feel free to spread the word and share this article online. Thanks!

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