Verizon Holiday Giveaways Could Be Heading for Legal Extinction

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-11-12 Print this article Print
Verizon Connection

The primary reason behind that is to prevent cable companies from offering fast connections to big media streaming companies such as NetFlix. But depending on exactly how the rules are worded, they could just as easily mean wireless companies couldn't offer free music streaming or free WiFi at airports or on airliners.

Think about what net neutrality really means, which is to treat all network traffic exactly the same, within the bounds of good network administration. This means that while a carrier can filter out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack legally, it can't give away some access for free.

Your free music on T-Mobile and your free streaming on Verizon would be regarded as preferential treatment and therefore potentially illegal even if allowed by the carriers, depending on how the administration in Washington write the rules.

By now you're probably asking yourself: how this can be? After all, isn't allowing free streaming somehow different from fast lanes for NetFlix? But the reality is that it's not.

The way the current communications laws are written, they apply to the wired landline phone companies of yore, but really don't make a lot of sense when applied to wireless phones of the Internet. The old landlines, after all, existed to carry voice calls and that was pretty much it. Today's wireless and Internet communications are really not the same at all.

This is one reason why I've said repeatedly that strictly applying Title II to the Internet or to wireless communications is lunacy. While there needs to be some form of regulation, using Title II simply isn't sensible regulation by any measure.

For now, at least, you can still take advantage of the FCC's leisurely pace in considering how old regulations should apply to new forms of communications. This means now is a very good time to navigate over to the Verizon Connection Day Website and sign up for the free offers while they last. Let's face it, free streaming is a good deal, even if it's for a short time.

And when the time comes when free stuff from carriers is limited, remind yourself that it's the White House that's keeping you from having nice things. Of course, it's not the fault of President Obama's administration. Congress is eagerly helping pile on the inability to actually legislate in ways that make sense. So feel free to hurl insults at both sides, and two years from now when it's time for the next election remember that these are the folks who took your music away.

Meanwhile, I plan to gratefully sample some of Verizon's free stuff while I still can.


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