The Future of the Internet
“With great power comes great…” how does that go again?
An Even Playing Field For All Web Companies
One of the best things about the internet is its indiscriminating ability to allow anyone’s voice to be heard. In theory, everyone has an equal chance to get their product or message out to the world for those who would hear it. A phrase used to describe this principle is Network Neutrality (or Net Neutrality for short).
ISP's Who Take Advantage
What happens to this idea when those gatekeepers who control the ebb and flow of our internet services shift the advantage of speed exclusively to themselves and those companies willing to pay large sums of money?
Cable & Phone Companies Propose Tiered Internet Service
Higher Speed For Their Own Sites
Our nation’s largest phone and internet corporations are currently lobbying for congress to allow for a tiered internet service where companies can pay a premium fee to have the speed of their websites throttled while those how don’t have the budget to pay for higher speeds are left behind. This proposed system has the potential to hurt the small businesses that have, up to this point, relied on the internet as a relatively inexpensive way to market themselves and their products.
Slower Speed for Your Sites
Imagine being helpless as your site starts to crawl at a snail’s pace while larger corporations who have the capitol to pay the premium price will enjoy the advantage of faster speed. What if your favorite blogger doesn’t happen to go through a site that pays the extra fees? You may have trouble navigating their articles with the same ease as you used to.
Some Competing Sites May be Blocked
Internet service providers would also have the right to block some sites entirely. For example, what if one of these companies develops their own search engine?
- They would have the power to slow down the performance of other search engines while throttling the speed of their own.
- Or they could block other search engines from being accessed altogether.
Protecting Net Neutrality
Internet Companies Band Together
There are other prominent web-based companies lobbying for Net Neutrality and against the tiered internet. One possible downside however is that in order to protect internet companies from an uneven playing field, more power must be given to the FCC to control regulations.
Proposed FCC Category Change
Currently, the internet is categorized as a Title I: General Communication/Information platform. It has been proposed that the internet be categorized under Title II: Telecommunication. This would put the internet in the same boat as radio and television and the FCC would have power to regulate against tiered internet.