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Net Neutrality: Right or Left, Conservative or Liberal: Why it matters

December 14, 2017

Today, the American FCC did something not only unthinkable and hyper-partisan, but incredibly short sighted: The eliminated most, if not all, of the rules that govern the Internet that say "Play fair".

Many telecoms and cablecos argued that it "stifled innovation" or "prevented new services from coming to market" - Sadly, this is a blatant mis-truth.

If you, as the owner of want to make sure the world has better access to your site, you have ALWAYS had these options and more:

  1. Ensure you are on a dedicated server that is not sharing resources with any other website
  2. Ensure your web host is well connected to the Internet, with multiple peering points
  3. Ensure that your web server has either unlimited transfer caps, extremely high ones or the ability to increase them on demand.
  4. Use a content delivery network, such as, which ensures your content is hosted in multiple locations around the world, to deliver your content quicker and more responsively than from a single source.
  5. Ensure your site and applications are well coded and efficient in their use of bandwidth

The above are the top five simplest methods to ensure you get "priority access" - which everyone else has access, to, as well.

With the recent rule changes in the USA, here is what is possible:

Again: You are the owner of - BUT, your competitor, can now go to the telecom provider in your local state, pay them a set amount of money and ensure your site slows to a crawl. Even if you are using content distribution networks, it all comes back through your domain and will be slowed - or worse: Simply not appear at all.

Where the politicians were extremely short sighted in this is that now there is nothing from stopping, say, the Democratic Party (Or, more likely, a third party with deep pockets), to approach deep-red states and pay them to block not only Republican leaning political sites, but news sites like and - And if you are thinking this is calling out that the sky is falling: Consider that in 2016, just on the presidential election, alone, over $6.8 BILLION dollars were spent. Just on the presidential campaign - that number doesn't even come close to approaching the total when all the down-ticket campaigns are added.

A few million dollars to block the state of Texas from visiting - or seeing it on their televisions (Since most content is now delivered digitally) - that, my friends, is just the cost of doing business.

You want to launch a new Marvel Superhero movie (Rights owned by Disney) that competes with DC comics hero movies (Rights owned by Time Warner) - Both those companies have VERY deep pockets - blocking or slowing key markets would barely exceed their coffee budgets for a quarter.

People have suggested that the telecoms and cablecos will "play fair", regardless of these rule eliminations - Sadly, we have decades of historical facts to show that this has not been the case - only returning to 'fair market play' when forced to, by regulation.

Sadly, the usual response to this is "Write your political representative" - and, to be frank, that IS STILL the best response, but in this case, the FCC went ahead with this shotgun blast to their own feet despite overwhelming opposition from both the public and industry.

With voter apathy/low voter turnout ever increasing, THIS is the result.

Thankfully, this decision by the FCC will see the birth of a Juggernaut of legal challenges, which will only grow stronger as the rule eliminations are taken advantage of - and they will be taken advantage of - What it means in the short term, however, is that there are a lot of businesses and content providers who are going to be left holding the dirty end of this stick.

The best advice, right now ? If your content is hosted on a US server, you should consider moving it outside of US borders. With bandwidth available in phenomenal quantities, these days, moving your US hosted site to a Canadian server or a European one will see no impact on quality - and the move certainly will not be visible to the general public.

Why do I suggest this ? Unfortunately, even if your content is not found to be targetable by a competitor, there may be content within your IP range or the server cluster you are hosted on: In the end, you become collateral damage, which is of absolutely zero comfort to your rapidly shrinking incoming orders.

Marc Bissonnette, Arnprior, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2020 / Marc Bissonnette, Ontario - All rights reserved -

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