Thursday, February 26, 2015

FCC Votes for Net Neutrality!


The FCC voted for net neutrality!!!

Net neutrality is the principle that all websites on the internet should be treated equally, and big time sites like Netflix and Hulu shouldn't be able to pay for better bandwidth from ISPs. Essentially, this decision means that the FCC is treating the internet like a public utility.

This is a big deal. Although this definitely doesn't mean the battle for net neutrality is won (ISPs will likely bring suit against the FCC to try to finagle a deal that will allow for special treatment of certain sites.), this is a huge step forward for proponents of net neutrality.

Interestingly, this is an issue that has united both major internet companies like Google and Facebook and individual activists. I wonder if this has something to do with where these two giants get their money.... Internet companies would be in a stranglehold if they decided not to "play" in a non-net neutral environment. For example, if Bing chose to pay for speed, but Google did not... Bing could surpass Google in search over time because of speed discrepancies. Not to mention these large internet staple companies were once newbies, and in a non-net neutral environment, well they would have been in a very tough bind....

This is definitely a step in the right direction in my opinion, but it is also only a first step in this battle. It is also a step in the direct of more regulation of the internet in general, and that... well that's a little more ambiguous...

Check out Mashable's coverage of this decision here. 

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