In the very near future, the Internet could actually resemble cable in that different sites will require varying fees depending on their “status.” Are you ready to pay more for faster access to YouTube? How about for listening to your “free” streaming music service???
Last week, A Federal Appeals Court overturned the FCC’s Open Internet Order that argued for “net neutrality.”
If you aren’t familiar with the term, “net neutrality” is the idea that all websites should be treated and viewed equally and that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should not slow down load speeds or charge more for access to some sites, platforms or apps over others.
Net neutrality is what allows consumers to access big and small websites all at the same price and at the same speed.
Without net neutrality, there is great concern that behemoth sites like Amazon, YouTube, Google and Yahoo! will be forced to pay the ISPs for faster load times on their sites.
If your site consumes more bandwidth, this might be the time to worry…
If your site is comparatively small, you may also worry as your load times could increase if you can’t afford to pay.
There is also some speculation that consumers could be charged more for access to bundled sites on their end.
This would result in the Internet looking like your cable packages.
You want to read The New York Times every day without any delays?
You may have to pay a little more for that privilege.
Alternatively, some experts are suggesting that advertisers will be tapped to foot the bill for the speedier service – watch this ad and get faster access.
AT&T recently announced that they would foot the bill for any “Sponsored data” that consumers use when viewing AT&T-related content.
(Yes, there’s that value exchange that I’m always talking about again!)
And of course, there’s that small issue of freedom of speech.
Is it really OK for your broadband provider to impact what you read or view on the Internet?
Note that the FCC isn’t likely to go down without a fight here.
It has been decided that the FCC does, in fact, have jurisdiction over broadband access so they are in the position to make these types of decisions.
However, they have to be careful that they do so in the appropriate way.
Do you think net neutrality should be reinstated? Tell us in the Comments below…