Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Net Neutrality

Earlier this week the FCC lost a huge ruling when a US Appeals Court shot down its attempt to control net neutrality. Haven’t heard of net neutrality? Trust me…you will in the near future.

First, What is net neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the concept that Internet Service Providers must treat all Internet traffic the same. That’s the way the Internet world works today. You pay one monthly fee and download anything you want with no additional charge. You can search for a particular site and you'll get it. This is net neutrality.

If net neutrality is gone this “might” not be the case. The Internet Providers (companies like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T etc) want to create a kind of two-tiered Internet. One tier of information would be provided to the consumer free, the other tier would be assessed an additional charge paid by the consumer or it would download slower.

For instance, just image if Comcast or Verizon made a deal with Microsoft and when you searched using Internet Explore it came up faster than when you searched using Mozilla Firefox.

Scary? You bet.

But there is another side to this story….The Internet Providers argue they own the pipes that deliver the data and they have the right to surcharge Internet gluttons. They even state a two-tier system would benefit the average user. How? Providers believe limiting big downloads would speed up the average surfer's Internet experience.

The fight for net neutrality goes on…but has suffered a major set back.

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