FCC rules on net neutrality and ends pay-for-priority internet

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed new rules for a fair and open internet.

What this means is that ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon are not allowed to favor certain internet content, while slowing access to content that they might disagree with.

For instance, in 2013 Comcast demanded that Netflix pay millions of dollars or they would slow the streaming speed of their customers to a crawl. In the end, Netflix paid Comcast to release its strangle hold over its customers.

Internet service providers will now be more closely regulated akin to utilities, like telephone companies, rather than less-regulated information service providers, which is how they were previously classified.

4 million individuals, including President Obama petitioned the FCC to adopt the strongest possible rules to regulate the internet to prevent any “web-fastlanes”.

It was small web companies, such as Etsy and Tumblr who really pushed for the reclassification along with net neutrality advocates.

There are however those who are opposing reclassification, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who tweeted in November 2014 that this would be “Obamacare for the internet.”

An article on RealClear Science says the United States is currently ranked 10th in terms of internet speed, behind such European countries as Ireland, Latvia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Also it is not likely that this regulation will lead to fewer internet service provider choices as a majority of Americans, 67 percent, currently have two or fewer providers to choose from while 30 percent of those can choose from either one or none at all.

 

[RealClear Science] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Mark Wilson/Getty Images]