The Internet Splits in Two

December 21st, 2010
in News, Background

The Daily Beast:  We are about to enter the age where there will be two classes of internet input:  the fast track for those that will pay for it and a slow wire for everyone else.  The Federal Communications Commission approved a set of net neutrality rules today, and nobody is happy. While liberals claim the FCC has caved to pressure from carriers, right-wingers are calling the new rules a government takeover of the Internet.

Follow up:

No matter what you think about the new rules, however, they signal an important turning point in the development of the Internet. We are going from Phase One, where everything is free and open and untamed, into Phase Two, which is all about centralization, consolidation, control—and money.

Because don’t kid yourself. Money is driving all of this. As in: Hey, we’ve created this marvelous new platform for communicating with each other. We’ve demonstrated that very large sums of money can be generated by sending stuff over these wires. Now let’s figure out who gets what.

Today’s new FCC rules grant two big concessions to carriers. First, the rules will apply to wired broadband connections, but they will pretty much leave wireless alone. Second, carriers remain free to create “fast lanes” on the Internet. They can charge Internet companies to ride on the faster pipes, and perhaps also charge consumers more money to get access to those speedy services.  Read more......









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