Is Today the Day the Internet Died?

January 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM Leave a comment

Internet via wikimedia commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Unless this ruling, which was handed down this morning, is overturned, Internet providers will begin charging for Internet connections by website, like in cable television packages.  I.e. by (1) the number of channels websites one can access and (2) the desirability/popularity of those channels websites.

This is a very big deal:

The DC Circuit Court has issued a ruling in Verizon v. FCC that is likely the shape the very nature of the internet. At the heart of the case is how the companies that provide internet to consumers can control that flow of information. In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission put forth an order that required “network neutrality,” meaning that internet providers had to treat all packets delivered on the internet as equal. Today, a court ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to impose net neutrality on high-speed internet providers.

Without a net neutrality requirement, service providers could turn internet connections into a toll road, charging companies like Netflix or Google extra money to deliver their packets with a higher priority than others. This, in turn, could also slow down the loading of sites that couldn’t or refused to pay. The biggest fear is a “cable-ization” of the internet, where certain internet providers only provide service to certain sites, in much the way that cable channels are packaged and sold separately.


FreePress has a petition to urge the FCC to fix (as in stop) this.


Entry filed under: Consumerism, Corporatocracy.

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