Internet is a series of…tubes?!

I always get upset when somebody tries to squeeze more money out of something that was free since it was created: recently, several network operators decided to kill the Network Neutrality over the Internet, as (I assume) they cannot raise their annual profit enough under the current circumstances. So, they want to charge Internet content providers for enhanced IP services (and the content provider will shift the cost to the consumer of course).

But what is Network Neutrality anyway? “Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online. Today, the neutrality of the Internet is at stake as the broadband carriers want Congress’s permission to determine what content gets to you first and fastest. Put simply, this would fundamentally alter the openness of the Internet.” (from Google)

So, long story short: if they succeed, the websites of smaller companies and nonprofit organizations, blogs etc. would move slower through the wire, as they do not have money to make the data „valuable” enough… But if your company can afford it, your site would get to the user as fast as lightning.

Finally, they were not be able to push the amendment through the legislature, but I think it was not the last time we heard about this… (Same happened to the software patent-case: they tried to push it through over and over again).

I believe that a very minimal regulation is needed over the Internet, (as they say it is for regulation to “shake out” illegal contents) but not this way. Just think about it: could we really stop spam for example by charging the sender for every mail? The legal users should pay, but will the spammers? I don’t think so. (That’s another story for another time :)

Some links if you want to know more about Net Neutrality:

Wikipedia – Net Neutrality
Save the Internet – Net Neutrality Showdown – Without ‘Net neutrality,’ will consumers pay twice?

And some funny stuff:

Daily Show with John Stewart on Net Neutrality
The Daily Show revisits Net Neutrality

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