Net neutrality, the concept that Internet Service Providers should only be permitted to sell completely unfiltered, unthrottled access to the Internet, has been a hot topic for a few years now. The future of the idea has looked bleak for some time. But that may be changing.
ArsTechnica writes, with some tone of surprise, that the FCC Chairman fully expects to fight the large ISPs in Federal Court to protect the rules set forth that govern net neutrality. After the President called for the Internet to be treated as a utility, the FCC was pushed to act quickly. Chairman Wheeler’s statement below comes in response to the President’s demands.
“We want to come out with good rules that accomplish what we need to accomplish, an open Internet, no blocking, no throttling, no fast lanes, no discrimination, and we want those rules to be in place after a court decision.”
FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler
Color me surprised!
We’ll see how this all pans out in the coming months, but it’s good to see the Whitehouse responding to what everyone on the Internet really wants. It will also be interesting to see the impact this has on related services like mobile telephony, instant messaging, and cable television, as all of these technologies rely almost solely on the Internet as their medium.
I have a hunch that there will be nothing in these rules to prevent companies from creating their own entirely separate “Internet”. Such systems, like Internet 2 and HPCMP, already exist for educational institutions and the military. Who is to stop Verizon or Comcast from selling access to a customers-only network with higher bandwidth than their Internet service? Could you even stop them? More importantly, why would you?