FCC adds net neutrality rules

It is a good day for the net neutrality movement. The FCC has proposed new rules requiring ISPs to treat all internet traffic equally. Hooray!

FCC Chief Backs Sanctions Against Comcast

Some good news for proponents of net neutrality.

Net Neutrality

I read a scary article on Yahoo! this morning about a fight in Congress about whether or not to allow internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to provide fee-based services for access to certain internet sites. The scenario is like the following: if you get just the 'basic' service, you might browse to your favorite search engine, say Google, but it is horribly slow, or the site won't come up on your browser at all. However, Yahoo! search has partnered with your ISP, so their search site is instantly accessible even with the 'basic' service. If you upgrade to the ISP's 'silver' plan, then suddenly Google is is available to you again (sounds like cable television, doesn't it?). This scenario, where ISPs control what content is available to you over the Internet is at odds with the idea of Net Neutrality.

If the telcos get their way, get ready for a massive stifling of innovation. Sure, Google has deep enough pockets now that it could probably make arrangements with ISPs so that its search was available even with a 'basic' plan, but would Google have made it back in 1998 when it was competing with Lycos, Infoseek, and Yahoo!?