The issue of net neutrality has been simmering for quite some time now. While there are a few proponents, those who are against the concept are very anxious about today.
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to publicly release its proposed rules about the future of the “Open Internet.” In other words, the concept of net neutrality could be completely broken down or be upheld, depending on what the FCC thinks.
Though the stands taken by companies about net neutrality will have a deep impact on the ordinary internet users too, few are aware of the epic scale on which the effect of net neutrality will be felt. This is because the net neutrality war is being waged between the biggest internet companies and the biggest Internet Service Providers (ISP). It’s Google vs. AT&T; Netflix vs. Comcast; Apple vs. Time Warner Cable. And there are billions of Dollars at stake. These are the battle lines, reports Mashable.
However, it will be the FCC that will decide what will be the future of the internet. Ironically, no one ‘governs’ the internet, but FCC comes darn close. This is because the agency oversees the ISPs, a role that makes it the watchdog of the internet infrastructure. In other words, though the ‘content’ isn’t strictly watched over, the gateways and pathways, i.e. the ISPs, have FCC to report to and hence its is the FCC that will decide how the information superhighway is regulated.
— Tom Wheeler (@TomWheelerFCC) February 19, 2014
The severity of net neutrality may soon be felt if the FCC thinks regulation is a necessity. Net neutrality is the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. But if tomorrow Amazon demands and is willing to pay for a prioritized information superhighway for its Netflix service, smaller startups would be the one who will suffer as they won’t have the financial resources to ensure their services also reach the customer at the same speed that Netflix does.
— Netflix US (@netflix) March 22, 2014
There is no doubt that the Internet is a success because it is an equal-opportunity medium for innovators and startups. The concept of net neutrality could be destroyed if FCC allows ISPs to accept payment for better service to companies who are willing to pay the premium, reports The Verge.
The possibility of the FCC allowing any preferential treatment of traffic has caused alarm among net neutrality advocates. Hopefully the agency will come up with a policy that preserves net neutrality.
[Images via Bing]