Apparently there’s about to be a tug of war over the Internet, according to the Washington Post. Up till now the Internet has represented a level playing-field, given the high level of security and reliability of networks. Now if the nation’s largest telephone companies have their way, the security and reliability of the Internet network may be weakened. For the first time, the companies that own the equipment that delivers the Internet to your office could give one company priority on their networks over another, dependent on what they’re willing to pay. So a Yahoo! search could be very much faster than a Google search. Or perhaps eBay would function faster than Amazon.
This represents a break with the network neutrality that has ruled the Internet until now. The rule has been that the owners of the phone and cable lines should remain “neutral” and not influence the content on your computer screen.
This will not happen without a major fight. For more than a year, the Consumer Federation and the Consumers Union and others have been lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission for Network Neutrality Rules. Google and Yahoo have joined the lobbying efforts. Hopefully they will be successful and the neutrality of the Internet network will be maintained.
Tags: network neutrality