I hate Charter Communications. It provides my house with laggy, unreliable internet that my friend called to complain about. They told him that his Internet was slow because he lived near UConn. UConn’s internet on campus is not provided by Charter though. Two popular off-campus apartment complexes are the problem. Apparently we’re connected to the same “backbone” and that very backbone is somehow designed to suit the bandwidth needs of the apartment complexes, then the surrounding area. Whatever bandwidth is left goes to our house. This makes the evening a particularly slow time to be online because that’s when ever college student is at their computers most.
But I don’t have a choice because Charter’s all my area has. And their sports package doesn’t even have NFL Network or NBA TV. But I digress.
The point is Charter has us right where the want us. They can do whatever they want and this includes compromising net neutrality. Charter is now giving an “enhanced online experience” as they describe it to customers. This is enhanced in the same way prison rape offers an “enhanced prison experience,” quite intrusively. The service uses “deep pocket monitoring” to see what you’re searching for and shows third party advertisements customized for you.
They monitor and keep track of not just searches, but history and what kind of files you’re transferring around. In doing this, they can potentially use traffic shaping to control exactly where your bandwidth gets devoted. They could give more bandwidth to their advertisers’ websites and in turn manipulate the sites people visit.