Tag Archives: netflix

Netflix Names Verna Myers to VP of Inclusion

Verna Myers

Streaming television service Netflix has named Verna Myers to its newly created post of Vice President, Inclusion Strategy.

Although the post is new the relationship between Myers and Netflix is not. Netflix stated in the announcement that  Myers has worked with the company as a consultant. In her new role she will “devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide.”

Myers has been the name and face of The Vernā Myers Company,  a consulting group that focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. Myers has written and spoken on this topic extensively.

Netflix has made incredible efforts at bringing in diverse talent and content into its entertainment offerings. The streaming giant has signed some of Hollywoods biggest African-American producers to produce content including Kenya Barris and Shonda Rhimes.

In a statement Meyers said; “I have been a longtime fan of the inclusive and diverse programming and talent at Netflix, and then I got a chance to meet the people behind the screen. I was so impressed by their mission, their excellence, and decision to take their inclusion and diversity efforts to a higher level. I am so excited and look forward to collaborating all across Netflix to establish bold innovative frameworks and practices that will attract, fully develop, and sustain high performing diverse teams.”

 

 

 

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Kenya Barris

Netflix has netted yet another major black television producer. Kenya Barris, creator of the ABC comedy Black-ish and the spin-off Grown-ish, has signed a multi-year deal with the streaming television service.

Barris will remain an executive producer on those shows while exclusively developing new series for Netflix. According to Techcrunch Barris’ deal only covers his television work because Barris, who co-wrote Girls Trip, has a first-look movie deal at Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barris agreed to a three year deal with numbers in “high-eight-figure range.”

Barris joins Netflix after negotiating his way out of a contract with ABC Studios. Barris’ label, Khalabo Ink Society, will write and executive produce Netflix shows that “reflect culture through an urban- youth- and female-focused lens.”

Netflix Vice President of Originals, Cindy Holland said of Barris, “Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers. Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world.”

Netflix is bringing onboard some of television’s  greatest black talent. Television producer Shonda Rhimes  joined Netflix last year. But Netflix is not alone. It seems that streaming television is the medium of choice for black talent as heavyweight producers like Jordan Peele and Barry Jenkins have joined Amazon and Oprah Winfrey has joined Apple streaming television efforts.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Shonda Rhimes Reveals Netflix Shows

Television producer Shonda Rhimes, who joined Netflix last year and for the next 15 years, is finally talking about her projects for the streaming service. The shows will be produced under her Shondaland label. Rhimes has a series of television hits to her credit that include “Scandal“, “How to get Away with Murder” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” 

Rhimes will be producing a show about Anna Delvey best known as the “Socialite Scammer.” Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokin, pretended to be a German heiress and conned banks and individuals out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Her most recent exploit may have been the scam of Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland.

Rhimes’ work for Netflix has been cloaked in mystery until now. In a New York Times profile Rhimes described her upcoming projects under the Shondaland label. In all she has eight projects in the production phase. They include an untitled British Regency era series based on the novel of Julia Quinn and the fictional Bridgerton family. 

“A Warmth of Other Suns” based on the non-fiction book by Isabel Wilkerson portrays the mass exodus of  black Americas from the south to the north and midwest during the era of  Jim Crow. 

“Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change” a memoir written by Ellen Pao about her experience at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Pao filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins.

Rhimes will partner with Grey’s Anatomy star Debbie Allen for a documentary series about her re-imagining of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” entitled “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” for her Debbie Allen Dance Company.

“Sunshine Scouts” is a post apocalyptic tale of teenage girls who survive while at summer camp and must deal with what remains of the world.

“The Residence” based on a book by Kate Anderson Bower, who writes about the lives of American presidents while they lived in the White House.

These shows are currently under production at Shondaland studios. However neither Rhimes or Netflix has announced when the shows will air…er stream.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Oprah Winfrey, Akon,

Apple, making a push into the streaming television market, scored a major coup by signing Oprah Winfrey to a multi-year deal to produce streaming content. The Wall Street Journal reported that Winfrey is expected to become part of Apple’s billion dollar push into direct-to-consumer video streaming.  Although what Oprah will produce has not yet been determined the programming is expected to debut in 2019.  

Apple stated to Reuters, “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.”

Apple is in stiff competition with streaming giants Netflix and Amazon to produce original streaming content. Apple has signed other big name celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Durant to produce shows for their platform.

Even with this huge deal Apple is in hardball competition with Netflix and Amazon. Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama signed a deal to produce content for Netflix. Netflix and Amazon have both invested heavily in their streaming content by spending $6.3 and $4.5 respectively in 2017 alone.  

Akon

Singer Akon (Courtesy Dagency)

Singer Akon is jumping into the cryptocurrency game. The singer announced at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity  the launch ofAkoin” to finance his “Akon Crypto City,” a 100 percent crypto-based city in Africa.

According to the Page Six website Akon said  “I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people, and brings the security back into the currency system, and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves, and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down.”

According to the Akoin website Akon Crypto City is being developed in African on land donated by the President of Senegal. The city will be modeled on the fictional country of Wakanda from the movie “Black Panther.” According to Akon the new city will offer everything any normal city would including homes, retail businesses, parks, universities and schools.

The singer, who is of Senegal-descent, has moved his career efforts to giving back to African communities in recent years. In 2015 Akon  launched Akon Lighting Africa in an effort to solve chronic shortages of electricity in African nations.

 

Black Women Enter the Boardroom

Black women are clearly leading the charge to bring diversity to corporate boardrooms. In the past weeks black women have taken positions of leadership at some of America’s biggest and best known tech corporations.

Susan Rice

Netflix announced that, Susan Rice, former national security advisor and ambassador to the U.N. has joined it’s board of directors.

Rice continues to build on a long and distinguished career that includes serving two presidents. Currently Rice is serving in multiple roles as a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at American University’s School of International Service, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Contributing Opinion Writer for the New York Times.

In a press release Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote, “We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Rice to the Netflix board. For decades, she has tackled difficult, complex global issues with intelligence, integrity and insight and we look forward to benefiting from her experience and wisdom.”

Rice responded by saying, “I am thrilled to be joining the board of directors of Netflix, a cutting-edge company whose leadership, high-quality productions, and unique culture I deeply admire.”

Rice holds a Master’s  and Doctorate in International Relations from New College, Oxford University, England, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She earned a Bachelors degree in History from Stanford University . In 2017 Rice received the Award of Commander, Legions of Honor of France from French President Francois Hollande for her contributions to Franco-American relations.

Edith Cooper

Edith W. Cooper has joined the board at Etsy.com. Etsy.com is global marketplace for handcrafted goods. Cooper brings to Etsy 30 years of leadership experience in management and sales across the financial services industry. Cooper’s career includes stints as the former Executive Vice President and Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs. Cooper was responsible for the recruitment, development, promotion, and welfare of 35,000 employees around the world. She held positions at Morgan Stanley and Bankers Trust and is a member of the Board of Directors of Slack, the Museum of Modern Art and Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman said of Cooper, “With Edith joining the board, we gain significant talent-management expertise, based on years of experience at leading global financial institutions. We are also honored that a person who called Brooklyn her home for many years is now working hand-in-hand with us to make our tech company even more successful. We are looking forward to Edith bringing her wealth of knowledge to Etsy providing guidance as we continue driving growth and empowering the 1.9 million creative entrepreneurs who rely on our marketplace.”

Richelle Parham

Richelle Parham took her seat on Best Buy’s board. Parham was named to Black Enterprise’s 2015 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America.  She is a partner at Baltimore based private equity firm Camden Partners Holdings, a private equity firm that provides growth and seed capital to lower-middle-market companies in technology, business services, education, and healthcare.

Parham brings 25 years of experience in global strategy and marketing to her role at Best Buy. Parham has exhibited her leadership in numerous corporate roles that include vice president and chief marketing officer for eBay before joining Camden Partners Holdings in 2016.  From 2008-2010 she served as chief of Global Marketing Innovation and Initiatives and head of Global Marketing Services of Visa Inc. For 13 years she held a variety of leadership positions at Digitas Inc. including general manager of the company’s  Chicago office. She has been a director of Ranir L.L.C. since September 2017 and was independent director at Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings since 2016. She has also held senior leadership roles at Rapp Worldwide and Citibank.

“I am delighted to join the Board and look forward to working with Hubert and the other directors as Best Buy continues to execute on its vision to enrich people’s lives through technology,” Parham said.

Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

Intel Corporation, maker of computer chips has announced Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey is joining its board of directors. Lavizzo-Mourey is a public health expert and is currently the PIK Professor of Health Equity and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. She served for more than 14 years as the CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is a board member of manufacturer General Electric Co. and oil and gas company Hess Corp.

Lavizzo-Mourey is the fifth director to join Intel as an independent director with no material relationship to the company.  Intel has pursed such members since 2016. The chip maker is rapidly expanding into data heavy computing fields such as the data center, which handles information coming from connected devices and services such as autonomous vehicles, and health care. Lavizzo-Mourey will join other black female executives at Intel that include Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Aicha S. Evans and Barbara Whye, Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer

In an email Whye wrote; “We know she will bring a unique and important perspective to our board as we continue to drive diversity and inclusion within Intel and the technology industry.”

 

Congress, the Courts and Net Neutrality

The war for net neutrality has moved to the halls of Congress and the courtroom. Attorneys generals from 21 states and the District of Columbia have filed suit to overturn the FCC‘s new rules on net neutrality. But the battle is not just the states against the FCC. Technology companies and public interest groups have also filed law suits. Firefox browser maker Mozilla, the public-interest group Free Press and New America’s Open Technology Institute have all taken up the battle for net neutrality. Other major tech-industry companies including Facebook, Google and Netflix are getting in the fight along with other lobbying groups. 

The lawsuit, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was kicked off in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The petition asks the court to overturn the the FCC’s decision claiming the rule is “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” under the law. The suit also argues that the the FCC improperly reclassified broadband as a Title I information service, rather than a Title II service, because of  “an erroneous and unreasonable interpretation” of communications law. Title II services, also known as common carriers, are subject to greater regulation.

An example of a Title II service would be the U.S. Postal Service. The post office can’t deny service to people sending letters it disagrees with. Another example is the phone company. The phone company can’t refuse service to people based on their religious views. Everyone has the same right to pay to use the service. Until now ISPs were considered common carriers.

The lawsuits are a multi-faceted battle to preserve net-neutrality. In congress Democrats are working to undo the new rule. Democrats in the Senate announced that they were just one vote shy of winning a vote to restore Obama era net neutrality rules. All 49 Democrats have agreed to vote for the repeal of the new Internet regulations. On the Republican side Senator Susan Collins of Maine supports the action.  That leaves Democrats searching for the final Republican to cross the party line and join them. The idea is not so far fetched since the net neutrality issue is a hot button issue for young people and the mid-term elections are approaching.

“Given how quickly we have gotten 50, we have a real chance of succeeding,” said Senator minority leader Chuck Schumer of New York in a statement.

Even if the Democrats succeed in getting the votes the rules does not automatically change. The same bill would have to be introduced and passed in the House of Representatives. That body is controlled by the Republicans and House Speaker Paul Ryan could simply refuse to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Finally, there is Donald Trump. He has to sign the bill to reverse the FCC action. Although the White House has publicly said it supports the the FCC move Trump has never been sure what he wants to do about net neutrality.

According to his own tweets Trump was all in for net neutrality in 2014. Trump criticized Obama for attacking the Internet, and defended net neutrality as “the Fairness Doctrine.” Now that has changed and he is all for the new rules.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Mo’Nique, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Kevin Durant

Oscar Winner Mo’Nique

Mo’Nique

Comedienne and actress Mo’Nique has called for a boycott against Netflix. According to the Oscar winning actress the streaming television service is guilty of gender and race-based pay inequities. Mo’Nique said she was offered $500,000 for a comedy special where white comedienne Amy Schumer was offered $11 million. Black comedian Dave Chappelle received $20 million for his three comedy specials . Mo’Nique said she challenged Netflix on the gap, but received contradictory answers. Mo’Nique said se was told by Netflix that  “we don’t go off resumés” when justifying her pay. But then  it reportedly defended Schumer’s revenue by citing her experience.

Mo’Nique also learned that she was not the only black female comedienne who may have been short changed by Netflix. According to a tweet from fellow comedienne Wanda Sykes Netflix offered her “less than half” of that $500,000 for a Netflix special. Mo’Nique hasn’t objected to the compensation Netflix offered other performers but is asking why the figures for her and Sykes were so much lower.

 

Jada Pinkett-Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith

Three generations of actress Jada Pinkett-Smith‘s family will join Facebook for a talk show that deals with social issues. Smith, her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris will come together to discuss their individual perspectives on various topics. According to Deadline, the inter-generational talk show will be executive produced by Pinkett-Smith along with Ellen Rakieten and Miguel Melendez. EntitledRed Table Talks the show was originally streamed in 2012 on the YouTube channel. 

 

NBA All Star Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

NBA superstar Kevin Durant is joining forces with YouTube to expand its sports content offerings. Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman have agreed to develop programming based on Durant and his fellow professional athletes under the umbrella of their Thirty Five Media video business.

After moving to the Bay Area to play for the Golden State Warriors Durant became interested in tech investments. He is not alone, teammate Andre Iguodala is another big tech investor. According to Kleiman, Durant became interested in YouTube after meeting YouTube executive Neal Mohan at the star’s 28th birthday party.

Durant’s YouTube channel is a fan favorite giving them documentary-style productions offering peeks into the life of an all-star professional basketball player. It also gives players a direct venue to interact with fans.  In less than a year, Durant’s channel has scored more than of 21 million views.

Durant told TechCrunch, “Outside of the incredible relationship that we’ve developed with the team at YouTube it’s a huge destination for video content where sports fans, including myself, spend a lot of time, and we really wanted to create content where fans are most likely to find and engage with it.”

Celebrity Cyber Report – Quincy Jones

Music legend Quincy Jones is working with a French TV producer to launch Qwest TV. Calling itself the “Netflix of Jazz” the  specialty streaming channel for jazz lovers will offer jazz, concerts and music centric documentaries.

Music Legend Quincy Jones

According to the New York Times Jones will personally select the first round of videos. Each video will be accompanied by an essay from either a journalist or a jazz expert. Jones’ goal of launching the channel is to help preserve and present jazz in a way that’s particularly suited for modern audiences. “I know I won’t convert the world to jazz,” said Jones. “If I serve high quality programs in HD, with good curation and have a good, close relationship with my audience, I’ll be fine.”

Qwest TV kicked off on December 15th and offered 50 videos from 30 to 90 minutes long. The launch featured a documentary on the late Al Jarreau, concert films featuring the pianist Jason Moran and his trio, European jazz-rock fusion band Kneebody and the Malian vocalist Oumou Sangaré.  Another feature for subscribers includes “The Sound of New York,” a 10-part series originally serialized in Italy. The series features half-hour portraits of musicians like Damion Reid, Mark Turner and Bilal.

Prices for Qwest TV will run between $8.83 – $11.68. The price will be slightly higher for HD/4K streaming. Qwest TV will also offer yearly subscriptions.

 

 

Net Neutrality: The War is Not Over!

The war for net neutrality is not over. Far from it, it’s just beginning. The latest move by the FCC, headed by Ajit Pai, is just the latest battle in a war that will eventually end up in the Supreme Court.

Pai and Republican members of the FCC voted to repeal Obama era rules meant to keep the Internet free and open to all. This is a critical moment in the history of the Internet.  The commoditization of information has taken a step forward. Pai and other pro-business Republicans claim the Obama administration had hijacked the Internet hindering innovation. The new FCC rules mean what you can access now depends how how much Internet you can afford. But defenders of the open Internet have taken up the call for battle.

States get involved.

Already one state has begun to fight for net neutrality within its borders. California, the home of Silicon Valley, has begun the process to enforce in-state net neutrality. State Senator Scott Wiener announced plans to introduce California’s own net neutrality rules. Wiener is considering the best regulatory options with plans to introduce a law early next year. Wiener wrote in Hackernoon, “By repealing net neutrality requirements, the Trump-controlled FCC is allowing Internet service providers to decide which websites will be easily accessible and which won’t. Providers are now free to manipulate web traffic on their networks, which means they can speed up or slow down traffic to certain sites and even block access.”

Weiner is contemplating requiring cable companies to accept state net neutrality laws as part of their agreement for doing business in California. California is one the world’s biggest economies and his action, if passed in a powerfully Democratic state, would force ISPs to accept net neutrality laws.

New York is also joining the battle. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that he will sue the FCC to stop the new net neutrality laws. Schneiderman tweeted; “ll be leading a multi-state lawsuit bringing the resources of AGs across the country to bear in the fight to protect the Internet and the millions of Americans who rely on it.”

It’s unknown how many other states will be joining Schneiderman but several states joined a letter calling for a delay of the vote due to evidence of fake comments during the public feedback process. That letter included the signatures of 18 attorneys general from the states of Virginia, Delaware, Hawaii, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Oregon, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Washington, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Schneiderman says he is expecting others to join that group.

Congress may act.

Member of congress could take action as well to stop the rule change. Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress is empowered to issue a resolution of disapproval that overrules the FCC’s decision. But don’t expect that to happen quickly if at all. The CRA only gives Congress a 60 day window in which to act. Any action must have presidential support or backing from two-thirds of the House and Senate. That has yet to be seen and Trump can’t decide if he likes net neutrality or not.

Democratic legislators Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusettes  and Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania have introduced a resolution of disapproval after the FCC vote. Markey has already followed through with the support of 17 other Senators. Doyle said in statement, “I’ve tried repeatedly to convince Chairman Pai to abandon his plans to dismantle the Open Internet Order, most recently by organizing a letter from 118 Members of Congress urging him not to take this vote. And now that the FCC has voted to kill net neutrality and give ISPs a green light to control access to the Internet, I will introduce legislation under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the order and restore net neutrality.”

Doyle is not the only member of Congress that Pai simply ignored before voting to repeal net neutrality. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Angus King, an Independent also from Maine  sent a last-minute letter asking Pai to cancel the net neutrality vote. “Repealing the FCC’s net neutrality rules will undermine long-standing protections that that have ensured the open internet as a powerful and transformative platform of innovation and economic opportunity,” they wrote. “We respectfully ask that the commission cancel the vote on the proposed order as scheduled and give Congress and the FCC the time to hold public hearings in 2018.” As you know Pai went ahead with the vote.

Not all Republicans are on board with the new net neutrality rules. Of the 239 Republicans in the House 107 have voiced their support for ending net neutrality. The position of the remaining members is not currently known. Some Republican lawmakers have been critical about the FCC’s process without specifically calling for a delay. Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota believes net neutrality belongs in the hands of lawmakers, not the FCC.

Next Battle Field: The Courts.

This battle is headed for the courts. Several advocacy groups, lacking faith in a Republican controlled Congress, are plotting their strategies to take on Pai and the FCC.

Critics claim they have a number of reasons to sue. These groups may argue that because the rule change comes only two years after Obama put them in place the decision is arbitrary.

Supporters of net neutrality are also arguing that ISPs should continue to be treated as Internet pipes or conduit that only carry data. This data includes movies and videos from major content providers like Netflix and Facebook updates. Advocates also argue that the FCC is wrong to categorize ISPs as as content providers, which are far less regulated. At least three public interest groups, Public Knowledge, Common Cause and FreePress are preparing to sue.

The Internet Association, a trade group and that counts Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, Facebook Inc., and Pandora Media Inc. as members said it was reviewing Pai’s order “and weighing our legal options.”

Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge Harold Feld argues that Pai’s plan to re-categorize ISPs from common carriers, regulated as a public utility, to more lightly regulated “information services” will fail in court. Feld believes that the primary role of ISPs is delivering content. As carriers of data they are not offering email or online storage.”Their description of how the Internet service provider works is …. not true,” said Feld.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The War for Net Neutrality! Breaking It Down

The FCC voted along party lines to end the Obama administration’s rules on net neutrality. This war for a free and open Internet has been going on for some time. This is just the latest battle.  This decision is by no means the end of it. But what is happening and what does it mean for Black Internet users?

 

 

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the idea that all data carried over the Internet is treated the same. That means that whether you’re streaming Netflix, shopping online, playing games or just reading the news, all the data is the same. Same speed and same price. For users of the Internet that meant that you could access any website and use as much data as you wanted. Before the change Internet service providers or ISPs like Comcast or Verizon could not deliberately speed up or slow down Internet traffic from specific websites or apps. But they did. The practice was known as throttling. The net neutrality rules, put in place by the Obama administration in 2015, were intended to keep the Internet open and fair. If you really want to understand how this works imagine sitting in traffic while those willing to pay whiz by you in the express lane. That is the basic idea behind the new rules of the Internet. 

How does that affect Black people?

People using the Internet, schools, small businesses and others are now subject to a potential new way of using the Internet and paying for it. You could be charged for high-speed streaming like Netflix. You could also be charged more for using data from some websites or apps over others. The rules used to say that ISPs could not favor one website over another for its content, the aptly named fast lane/slow lane Internet. Those rules just went out the window. Expect more throttling and slower web speeds and loading. Businesses with numerous computers and heavy data consumption could end up paying more. Start up businesses, especially minority owned, could be stifled by high data costs. According to MIT the repeal of net neutrality could be harmful to innovation. The exact opposite of what FCC chairman Ajit Pai claims.

Where this hurts black people, other minorities and the poor, is that just getting Internet could be costly. Already we are dealing with a lack of high speed Internet in poor and minority schools. As matter of fact the United States is already behind in both wireless and fixed wire Internet speeds.

Poor and minority children are already dealing with poor public education. That situation could be further eroded further by a lack of adequate access to the Internet. Classroom instruction will suffer as they fall further behind more affluent school districts. The digital divide is going to grow along with an under-educated under-class that is the source of poverty.

In some cities high speed Internet is nearly non-existent. Detroit for example is one of the worst cities in the country for high speed Internet especially for poor people. Repealing net neutrality is not going to help this situation.

Black people are avid users of mobile technology. The use of mobile devices could become more expensive. Shopping online, banking and other online activities could be slowed down or throttled. Another area of concern for black people is social and political activism.  A free and open Internet meant that no matter who you are you could get your message to the masses. These new rules could make it expensive for, or even censor, groups like #Black Lives Matter. Many believe that the Internet is key to free speech and the right of the public to know. 

Who is benefitting from this rule change?

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Most people would agree that the telecom companies are benefitting the most from this rule change. FCC Chairman Pai, an Obama appointment and promoted to chairman by Trump, has claimed that the new rules will not affect a free and open and Internet. Pai has been a critic of the net neutrality rules and believes that the rules of the Obama administration allowed the government to “micro-manage the Internet.”

The telecom industry approves of Pai’s plan. Pai argued that earlier regulation was a drag on broadband investment and innovation. In a blog post, Comcast downplayed concerns, saying customers “will continue to enjoy all of the benefits of an open Internet today, tomorrow, and in the future. Period.” Yet at the same time it appears that Comcast is already planning to charge you for more Internet speed.

According to the Los Angeles Times  several companies have also been preparing for this moment for some time and the profits of priority handling of Internet content. These companies will not say what they consider a free and open Internet is nor will they promise to treat all data the same. Basically they are keeping quiet.

Telecommunications companies like AT&T, Charter Communications and Comcast have run full page ads in the Washington Post claiming to preserve an “open Internet.” These practices supposedly include “no blocking of legal content,” “not throttling” data speeds and “no unfair discrimination.” They never said you wouldn’t have to pay for it. 

Another winner of the repeal are the big content providers. Netflix, Google and other large content providers also have the money and the leverage of millions of subscribers to negotiate deals with ISPs. This would allow them access to the Internet fast lanes and potentially get a competitive advantage. Any deal that Netflix, Google or YouTube cuts with the ISPs could mean a price increase for the consumer. You lose.

Supporters of net neutrality believe that consumers could be charged extra to stream certain content if they don’t want to be hampered by network congestion or throttling. Others are warning that consumer choices of Internet service providers could shrink and prices of broadband service could increase due to lack of competition.

What is actually happening is that the FCC, under the Trump administration, has declared that information is free. Access to it is not. The Internet, until now, was regulated as a utility. This brings that to an end. Now the Internet belongs to private industry and they are willing to make you pay for access because that is what they do. They couldn’t care less about your business needs, your child’s education or your need to know…period. They have the capability to keep the ignorant ignorant, the poor poor and the the competition from competing.. They can slow down information or cut it off completely if you don’t pay. Corporations have scored a victory but the war is far from over. 

Next: The Net Neutrality War is Not Over!