Wednesday, March 30, 2011

All Internet Should Be Created Equal

The title of this post sums it up. Now let's say it once more, with feeling: All internet should be created equal. There is so much that is wrong with the idea of ISPs throttling the speed of your connection to drive you away from certain sites, pushing you towards ones in which they have a financial interest. You already pay the ISPs to connect your computer to the web and this would just be milking you for all you're worth. As a matter of fact, we already pay more than most European countries when it comes to internet service. According to John Borthwick, a guest writer for, we pay $40 a month for an average speed of 3.9 Mbps while in France, they pay $45 a month for 20-30 Mbps that includes VoIP and HDTV plus a DVR.

The internet needs to remain open at all costs. Everyone has their own preferences for what search engine they use, which video service they watch Rebecca Black on, and even VoIP, as mentioned in the net neutrality Youtube video. Lets say I prefer to use Youtube, which is true, over other video services and I have an AT&T U-Verse bundle. One day, AT&T and Google have a dispute which turns ugly, not unlike verbal sparring matches between executives at Apple and Google. AT&T decides to create their own video service, and with no net neutrality laws, they begin throttling down download speeds for Youtube videos. It gets to the point where it literally takes a half hour to load up a 3 minute video. Finally, you give in to all of the TV advertisements and postcards from AT&T telling you about their service, and watch David After Dentist 20 times.

This scenario, while theoretical, is the exact type of scenario that could come into play unless the government puts net neutrality laws in place. Steps have already been taken and as the NY Times put it, the FCC passed "net semi-neutrality" laws which block "unreasonable discrimination of websites or applications by fixed-line broadband providers." In that same article, it is mentioned that the FCC law does not ban faster transmissions on sites paid for by companies, which is known as "paid prioritization." While this law specifically applies to wired internet, passing this law and hopefully more that encompass a broader spectrum of net neutrality is a step in the right direction, and hopefully one that leads to the neutrality of wireless internet as well.

1 comment:

  1. first of all LOL @ "Everyone has their own preferences for what search engine they use, which video service they watch Rebecca Black on" well played. second it kills me that AMERICA has such low speeds! when i read that in our readings, man i was upset lol. here i am paying like $60 for JUST the internet on comcast every month for not even like a quarter of the speed europe is getting. really disapointing. anyway good post. i like the reasoning you gave. nice scenario .