Yeah, I was more than a little peeved when I wrote about the telephone companies plans to charge higher rates for “preferred” traffic on the Net back at the beginning of February, and Im still pretty miffed about the whole thing.
The Internet was founded (pretty much) on the concept of “Net neutrality” (for more info check out this nifty video rant), the belief that a packet is a packet is a packet and all get treated the same.
And while this isnt always the case, the bandwidth and priority allocated to Internet traffic is pretty much equal.
This, of course, bugs the providers who see the differential usage by popular sites as a revenue opportunity.
What theyd like to do is make sites that want a “fast lane” on the Internet pay a higher fee than those that dont.
What you end up with is that those who have the money get preference and those that dont get to chug along in the “slow lane” with the rest of the losers who cant pay more.
And theres even worse stuff coming down the pike in the form of a proposed “broadband tax” from the Feds (talk about your double whammy!) and some evidence that broadband providers are already monkeying with traffic in order to give their own products higher priority than third-party solutions.
Yeah, thats ethical!
But I was heartened to read this week that Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, has introduced a bill supporting Net neutrality and that Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, has also spoken out against the tiered-pricing plan.