Menu
Amazon Kindle Voyage Rethinks the Reading Experience

Amazon Kindle Voyage Rethinks the Reading Experience

Mat Franco won America's Got Talent

Mat Franco won America's Got Talent

SpaceX and Boeing build manned NASA Spaceships

SpaceX and Boeing build manned NASA Spaceships

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne Again

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne Again

iPhone 6 Reviews are Glowing

iPhone 6 Reviews are Glowing

Netflix Can Make The Public To Care About Net Neutrality

Jan 23 2014, 4:04am CST | by , in News

Netflix Can Make The Public To Care About Net Neutrality
 
 

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

Netflix Can Make The Public To Care About Net Neutrality

I’m not the first person to say that if you want to get Americans to care about an issue, hit them in their pocketbooks. Which is why Netflix—purveyor of fine streaming content to more than 40 million Americans, and consumer of about a third of all Internet traffic (as of 2012)—is the one company that may be able to get the public to notice, and maybe even care about the fuzzy, hard-to-explain-in-a-bumper-sticker, why-should-I-care issue of net neutrality.

As you may have read, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled this month against the concept of net neutrality. In English: They decided that Internet providers didn’t have to treat all traffic differently, and could slow (perhaps a competitor?) or speed (perhaps a paid sponsor or partner?) different content sources as they please.

Of course, the one company that has the most to lose from this decision is Netflix, which has the distinction of being an entity that simultaneously gobbles up the largest share of Internet traffic, relies the most on speedy service (you think those HD videos are gonna look as crisp under the threat of throttle?), and is the most threatening to the business core business model that cable ISPs are built on (hello cord-cutters!).

So, despite the fact that Netflix is downplaying any affects of the ruling on their business, it most definitely had an immediate and noticeable impact on the company’s stock price (an impact that was mitigated by a recent announcement largely favorable subscriber numbers—what a roller coaster!).

Still, Netflix is the one company that could get the general public to take notice that net neutrality actually matters. That’s because, quite simply, if and when 40 million Americans wake up to a significantly higher monthly bill, something’s gonna give.

Now, assuming cable ISPs do throttle Netflix or strong-arm it into coughing up cash to stream its content at favorable speeds and bit-rates, the company might be well advised to use this as an opportunity to launch a PR offensive that lets the public know exactly what is happening and how it affects them. One of the reasons few people outside the tech world seem to have heard about net neutrality is that the issue has yet to actually affect the life of anybody in any meaningful way. A huge chunk of the American public suddenly paying more for a bill that many view as indispensable? That’s something even politicians notice.

So, dear Netflix, here’s my totally unsolicited advice: Use your reach, use your presence in so many households, and the fact that you are a rare company for which people still have the warm-and-fuzzies  to let the American public know that their beloved streaming service is under assault. Then if the ISPs do decide to play hardball with you in the future, the public—and politicians—might actually have your and net neutrality’s back.

#####
Seth Porges is a writer and co-creator of Cloth for iOS. For more fun,  follow Seth on Twitter at @sethporges, or subscribe to him on Facebook or Google+.

Source: Forbes

 

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update


Advertisement


More From the Web

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

The Skeleton Twins Stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader
The Skeleton Twins Stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader
Bill Hader of SNL fame is right now starring in a drama. So SNL fans beware. Bill Hader's new movie is not a comedy.
 
 
Clayton Kershaw Named Finalist for 2014 Roberto Clemente Award
Clayton Kershaw Named Finalist for 2014 Roberto Clemente Award
Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, a front-runner for the National League Cy Young and MVP awards, was named a finalist for the 2014 Roberto Clemente Award on Sept. 27.
 
 
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Pre-Order Starts Today
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Pre-Order Starts Today
Samsung finally starts the pre-order for the new Galaxy Note 4 today. The only smartphone to beat the iPhone 6 Plus in some aspects is going on sale October 17.
 
 
Scotland Votes No to Scottish Independence
Scotland Votes No to Scottish Independence
Scotland stays in the UK. The vote is almost completely counted.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.