Back in January a US court struck down the FCC’s rules on net neutrality and since then the Federal Commission has been working on a new set of rules that would allow ISP’s to charge Americans extra for things like watching Netflix or Hulu. Obviously this is a completely immoral business move on the ISP’s part but if they aren’t charging you directly they’ll be charging the companies whose data you’re trying to access.
Recently Netflix was forced to pay Comcast to allow its users to get a good connection while streaming TV shows and movies but eventually that cost might fall on to the consumer unless people stand up for traditional net neutrality. Fortunately, some of the biggest tech companies in the world are joining Netflix in its plea to the FCC, including Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
Image Credit: Colourlines
Net Neutrality is often dubbed as the foundation of the internet and it effectively means that ISP’s can’t limit certain kinds of data on the web. Providers are to be seen as exactly that, just providers, which have no business in deciding which packets of data arrive at your PC faster.
A letter signed by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Ebay and Yahoo amongst over a hundred other companies doesn’t suggest a solid course of action but it does emphasise the importance of net neutrality and expresses strong opposition to the FCC’s new set of rules.
“Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both ﬁxed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent. The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low. Such rules are essential for the future of the Internet. This Commission should take the necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform.”
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KitGuru Says: Obviously ISP’s shouldn’t be allowed to squeeze extra cash out of its customers just to do what they want to do on the Internet, but worryingly enough it could happen. Right now this is an America specific problem but if it goes through it could very well spread to other parts of the world too, which is why it’s important that all Internet users support net neutrality.