The content of the Internet is always expanding, therefore the infrastructure of Internet service providers has to expand as well. For years, dial-up connections were sufficient to deal with the simple webpages, bulletin boards, and Usenet groups that made up the web. However, soon people found ways to compress music into manageable file sizes (the .mp3 format), create massive online databases with graphical clients (online video games), and share pictures with each other online.
DSL and Cable provided the next step allowing those mediums to flow and develop, and allow the growth of media and interactive content into forms like YouTube and Facebook. Now we have the ability to stream entire libraries of High-Def content to our systems (Hulu, Netflix) and new “cloud computing” technologies are emerging that will allow people to use the power of a system elsewhere and stream the results to their own system allowing them to use on their tablets, netbooks, and iPads, which used to be only possible with a very powerful desktop.
Net Neutrality: All Bits Are Created Equal
The concern that Internet providers have with not being able to keep up with the growth and provide speedy service is a concern that their systems will not be able to compete, and someone else like Verizon FiOS or Google Fiber will be able to step in to provide the required service by taking over and replacing them. Most DSL connections no longer qualify as “High Speed” connections under many standards and cable companies are worried that they are already having problems keeping up with systems like Verizon FiOS. As speed and bandwidth requirements increase it will require a massive investment by cable companies to improve or replace their infrastructure, otherwise they may go the way of AOL (purchased by Time Warner) and Prodigy (purchased by AT&T).
From a customer’s perspective, Internet providers were considering technology to set limits, or intentionally degrade service, allowing you to pay your monthly fee, but then tag on additional charges for allowing you to view YouTube, access Facebook, or stream from services like Netflix or Hulu. Another example would be Comcast’s recent purchase of NBC, and a concern arose that Comcast may see it as profitable to provide faster service to NBC shows and news, while degrading service to competitors like Fox News or independent news groups that are critical of Comcast business practices.
In part, net neutrality is about preventing corporate censorship and preventing unfair corporate practices, but it is more so about encouraging continued innovation and growth in technology and communications.
Net Neutrality refers to the idea that all websites are entitled to the same amount of broadband speed and space/access on the Internet. Even though an Internet service provider like Comcast could quite possibly charge space and speed of any website on its Internet service, this new law prohibits that from happening. Without this law, smaller companies that perhaps couldn’t afford to pay for the speed and space on the web will continue amongst the competition for all Internet websites.
This law neutralizes the rights of all website owners to equal presence on the Internet. However, this law was just recently put into effect…
“The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) voted to adopt “Net neutrality” rules, giving the agency regulatory power to protect the free flow of information over the Internet.
Net neutrality means that all content on the Internet must be treated equally, so Internet providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable can’t deliver Amazon.com faster than eBay, and can’t simply block access to sites like Netflix and Hulu.
The Internet is changing and the rapid growth of online video from YouTube, Netflix and Skype is sucking up bandwidth, making it difficult for Internet providers to give speedy service to all of their customers.”
Read more & see the video on CNN.com, http://ow.ly/3xZx1
Do you think that any company willing to pay should be entitled to quicker broadband speed and more media & data space on the Internet? If you answered ‘yes’, what do you think will happen to the many start-ups and smaller businesses out there trying to make their name on the Internet in a sea of giant, international corporation’s websites?