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Don’t get throttled. NC wishes policies to guard internet customers.


When you picked up your smartphone this morning, you likely checked Facebook, perhaps laughing at the latest sketch from Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Fallon on YouTube. Maybe you’ve binge-watched episodes of Stranger Things or The Crown on Netflix. While using your laptop, you may have checked into a political message board that features potentially controversial points of view. As a small business owner, you could have updated your company’s website, booked a new client, or launched a new product or service. But all these practices we take for granted may be threatened when net neutrality rules expire in just a few weeks.

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Without net neutrality rules, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) could choose to block content that they find objectionable. Or they could slow down competing for streaming video services like Netflix or YouTube. Or they could create internet fast lanes, allowing larger companies to pay more for faster service, a move that would make life difficult for smaller businesses to compete. Imagine being a painter or contractor. If a pottery move on initial client can’t get to that business owner’s website within a few seconds, the mt business has to pay more for access; they could have to increase their prices. In both cases, the small business owner would be punished. This could be more than a mild inconvenience in communities with a single broadband provider. It could make the difference between your business failing or succeeding.

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While some claim that net neutrality protections are unnecessary, history tells us otherwise. In North Carolina in 2005, Madison River Communications, a small ISP based in Mebane, blocked Vonage’s Internet telephone service. Vonage filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, then under George W. Bush appointee Michael Powell, the FCC sanctioned Madison River, which was forced to pay a small fine and restore consumer access to Vonage.

Similarly, in 2012, Verizon was caught blocking people from using free online tethering applications, forcing their customers to pay $20 monthly to turn their cell phones into mobile hotspots. More recently, in 2017, Verizon was accused of throttling — the intentional slowing or speeding of internet service — when consumers reported that videos from Netflix and YouTube were slower than usual. Verizon attributed this to “network testing,” but these practices could become common without net neutrality protections. We also cannot rely on competition between ISPs. For most residential consumers, there is no meaningful choice when it comes to broadband providers. Only 12 percent of North Carolina’s rural residents have no choice regarding broadband internet access, creating a digital divide that would only be exacerbated if net neutrality principles are revoked.

Net neutrality protections haven’t officially expired yet. But the clock is ticking. The FCC revoked net neutrality rules in December, and Congress has until April 23 to step up and reverse this unpopular decision. And although the vast majority of U.S. voters—approximately 80 percent according to a recent poll—support net neutrality, Congress seems unlikely to act. Net neutrality legislation is currently stalled in the Senate, and the House has not yet proposed a bill. This leaves it up to individual states to act. The easiest solution involves the use of state contracts. States could issue a decree stating they will not do business with ISPs violating net neutrality.

In a state like North Carolina, where we are still expanding broadband service to rural communities, this provision could pressure ISPs to follow net neutrality guidelines. Washington and Oregon have led the way, passing the first state laws that would reinstate net neutrality rules. Several other states, including Vermont, Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey, and New York, have used executive orders. But a legislative approach would carry even more weight. North Carolina has an opportunity to take the lead on this issue. Passing net neutrality rules will send the message that our state welcomes small businesses and technological innovators and wants to provide opportunities to succeed for all of its citizens across the state. When you consider lengthy-term care, what’s the first component that involves thoughts? For many, it may be nursing homes or something associated with aging and increasing clinical wishes. In an extensive experience, this is appropriate; however, much has been modified within the remaining decade or two about options and how to fund them.

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Boomers (and the following era of retirees) must devise elderly care in a one-of-a-kind way, unlike their parents, as they may be dealing with the unclear destiny of entitlement blessings and rapidly growing medical charges. And they may be dwelling longer. When it involves making plans, many humans have the “it won’t occur to me” mindset. However, approximately 70 percent of people over age 65 will need long-term care help during retirement.

Evolving options

The hard question that weighs on many human beings is how do you intend for those unforeseen expenses not to derail retirement? When making plans for care costs, you have alternatives along with earmarking financial savings for clinical expenses or relying on entitlement advantages or a circle of relatives. Long-term care coverage is another option for human beings to consider. Insurance products have evolved over the past several years with care options and tendencies. Today, almost half of the benefits private insurers pay are in-home care or assisted dwelling care. Earlier than this, coverage turned into, by and large, being used to pay for skilled nursing care.

Many current guidelines also pay the gain to the insured or insureds, unlike many regulations that pay a nursing facility immediately. To apprehend more about the evolution of lengthy-term care, here is a deeper examination of lengthy-time period care planning beyond and present: Government applications: The silent generation (those born throughout the incredible despair and World War II) have been a number of the first to enjoy longer lifespans and the first to have to get admission to legit nursing care facilities. However, whether or not entitlements could be there was not a subject of conversation for this era. As more boomers attain retirement age, the capability of pressure on authorities’ entitlement applications has become a growing subject as current benefits may not cover the maximum medical services someone will face.

Long-time period care coverage: With lengthy-term care coverage being a noticeably new idea, many parents of baby boomers probably did not take into account the capacity desires (and practical fees associated) of formal lengthy-term care. Since then, insurers have advanced some of the options to satisfy boomer’s needs, and insurance features have evolved over time. Some of them consist of:

Straight long-term care coverage policies: These regulations pay back as much as each day or monthly maximum. The amount can be paid to the insured character, who can pay the care company. The insured individual can also pick out to pay for the care provider to invoice the insurance business enterprise without delay.
Life insurance policies with a unique rider: Advanced gain riders may be relatively less expensive additions to a lifestyle insurance policy. They permit the dying gain (regularly up to ninety) to be paid in advance of dying if the price range is needed for long-term care. Whatever quantity is furnished to the insured is truely deducted from the demise gain while that man or woman passes away.

Policies that combine existing coverage and long-term care coverage into one range: Some coverage plan options may permit a lump-sum premium to be paid for insurance that provides a mixture of advantages, such as a dying advantage and the potential to increase most of that advantage for long-term care needs. These regulations might also even consist of a “right to rescind” the settlement wherein the coverage holder may additionally alternate their mind after some time, and the entire top rate is refunded (if no advantage has been paid).

guard internet

Family: Relying on the circle of relatives may look like the most effective option, and it is one that many humans select every so often out of necessity. However, the emotional, bodily, and economic stress on the circle of relatives participants worrying about a structured family member may be a huge project. If you plan to rely upon a process of relative participants to help with your lengthy-term care needs, inform them well in advance to create a plan to cope with your desires and desires.

A growing older individual who needs care can also select from many alternatives to assist or fund professional care, such as family, government assets, self-insurance (if there are enough belongings) or personal coverage. Each option has a few merits, but no unmarried alternative on its personnel will cover everything in maximum cases. It’s tough to predict what type of lengthy period of care you may want; that’s why you may need to talk with an expert who can speak about the alternatives to your unique state of affairs.

Carol P. Middleton
Student. Alcohol ninja. Entrepreneur. Professional travel enthusiast. Zombie fan. Practiced in the art of donating rocking horses for the underprivileged. Crossed the country researching hula hoops in Deltona, FL. Won several awards for supervising the production of etch-a-sketches in Nigeria. Uniquely-equipped for investing in bathtub gin in the financial sector. Spent a year building g.i. joes worldwide. Earned praise for deploying childrens books in Africa.