Internet neutrality slips into a coma

Net neutrality, as its known, is the idea that the owner of one of the Internet’s “tubes” should not be able to favor its own traffic over others. For example, a carrier would not be able to charge Netflix a fee for faster access. 

Today, a federal appeals court struck down a big part of net neutrality. The issue (and decision) is complicated. You have a mix of substantive law (what the FCC can do) and procedural/administrative law (did the FCC adopt the rule correctly). 

Where net neutrality concerns many of us citizens of the Internet is in terms of making sure people can access the content we produce. Without net neutrality rules, ISPs could give preference to paying users like Netflix, NBC, or whomever. Their traffic would clip along at full speed while bloggers (for example) would find their readers waiting for the site to load. 

We’ll have to see how this one plays out. 

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2 thoughts on “Internet neutrality slips into a coma

  1. People say “just change providers.” It’s not easy to change your internet provider if you live in a rural area (as most of Indiana is) and have limited options for affordable and faster-than-molasses speed (even when just cruising the net).

    1. Thanks for your comment, Terry. Another thing many people don’t grasp is that changing providers doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. Provider A might give favorable treatment to Netflix over Amazon’s video streaming, but Provider B might give favorable treatment to Amazon’s video streaming over Netflix. For subscribers of both services, switching from one provider to the other won’t help. (I’m a subscriber to both–Amazon’s video streaming is free for me as an Amazon Prime subscriber.)

      For those of us who are minor (or, in my case, very minor) content providers, part of the fear is that our content will be relegated to the back burner by the network owners. We’ve all experienced the frustration of a slow-to-load web site, and many of us have decided that the content isn’t worth the wait.

      Hopefully the FCC will take another stab at this issue and resolve the concerns of the appellate court.

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