Wal-Mart, the US company whose employees are so poor that they live off food stamps while the owners are among the richest in the country, is now offering a new phone plan for $12 that allows users to access only Facebook. They are being offered by Virgin and initially you’re offered 20 minutes and 20 texts, then for $5 each on top you can add Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
This plan effectively takes away net neutrality for it’s users as they can only access white-listed services and if more carriers see this they may decide to implement something like this themselves.
Net Neutrality is a term meaning that the traffic on the internet travels at the same speed, I can get data from any servers and receive the content as fast and my connection and the server’s connection allows.
In the US however there has been talk about scrapping net neutrality under the auspice that ISPs can’t cope with the growing amount of traffic and that people should pay more for using services like Netflix which accounts for much of the traffic.
Other concerns around net neutrality have been raised with regards to encrypted communications. There were fears that ISPs may throttle based on the content and because they cannot see the content of encrypted data that they would just throttle it anyway or outright ban it for those without the higher paid packages.
Jayne Wallace, Sprint’s (Virgin parent company in US) director of corporate communications, passed of the new changes as merely being budgeting and parental control, it is too common to see know when children rack up extortionate bills on mobiles for going over data limits and purchasing in-game extras. She said “We started with the four (social-media offers) that we felt were the most popular.”
Source: USA Today