It is common knowledge now that the FCC chose to repeal net neutrality laws in the United States. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of net neutrality, it is a set of rules intended to ensure all Internet traffic is treated equally. With the removal of rules regulating the actions of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), big communication conglomerates such as Comcast or Spectrum have the potential to control what consumers have access to on the Internet, and charge different tiered prices for different services.
A study done by The Diffusion Group shows that more people are moving away from cable and towards online streaming to watch TV. Not only are they moving away from cable, they are moving away from the content provided by the ISPs. For example, moving from watching television shows on NBC (a Comcast company) to Netflix. With net neutrality being repealed, ISPs can now slow down the speeds of competitors to persuade consumers to visit their own sites instead.
Along with unreliable streaming speeds is the potential for increased prices for access to different content on the internet. Access to the reliable video streaming sites such as ESPN, Amazon, or the NFL Network could require additional monthly fees from viewers. Some viewers that are customers of certain media entities could be exempt from fees while other viewers are not, but it is likely that everybody would have to pay more fees than they are used to. Those who can’t afford the extra fees will lack access to some, if not all, internet content, thus drawing out the digital divide.
With the absence of net neutrality laws, watching sports will never be the same. Sports viewers will be forced to pay more money to watch through certain media outlets, or face slower streaming speeds. In order to avoid paying more, yet still be able to watch your games at a reasonable quality, you can visit FanWide to find which local bars are hosting fans from each team. By using FanWide, we can help you find local game watch parties or fan clubs at a nearby restaurant so that you can watch your favorite teams and events with other fans that are looking to escape the outcomes of net neutrality as well.