The concept of who can govern the rule of freedom and equality reminds so much of a quote by Alan Moore,
“Equality and freedom are not luxuries to lightly cast aside. Without them, order cannot long endure before approaching depths beyond imagining.”
Recently, Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable went into a heated debate against the U.S government, Netflix and consumer groups, reveals first post.
They say that internet is a kind of highway, and platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Whatsapp are vehicles. So every time they travel on it, they are supposed to pay some toll tax.
Not a very invalid statement.
The head of Federal Communications Commission is proposing that Internet access has to be seen like a public utility, so it necessary to ensure that all websites and content creators be treated equally and there’s no “pay-for-faster-play”. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says that the U.S must come forward and regulate Internet Service providers more closely who now have the power to play favorites when delivering legal content such as streaming video, online games or retail shopping.
But as the highway rule goes, Internet Service providers are fiercely opposing this new move. Probably, freedom and equality are cheap thugs, just probably.
This very principle of fairness is called net neutrality.
And we the users are not big fans of this term. Before we proceed why we are biased towards this term, let’s us first understand what it actually means.
So, what is Net Neutrality?
So now you are trying to buy a microwave from one of the ecommerce site or streaming the new season of Game of Thrones or just watching the latest video of Coldplay, your Internet Service provider would have to load all of these websites (irrespective of their own preferences) quickly. Broadband service provider are not creating a kind of tiered system where platforms have to pay “tax” to get the content to customers faster. The idea is that if sites don’t pay toll on their own highway, they might observe a sharp decline in traffic, because failing to pay toll will result a website to load slower than others. This means that smaller businesses will forever loom in the shadows of mega budget businesses, thus making the ecosystem of enterprise society somewhat – disturbed. Internet service providers will obviously favor digital content produced by their affiliates unless rivals are more willing to pay.
Now, there are three primary goals.
- Prevent Internet Service providers from blocking traffic on websites.
- Ban the practice of slowing down service for a commercial purpose
- Break the highway. There is no real time space here. This is space. No fast lanes.
What’s with Internet Service providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast?
Major internet service providers refused to consider a plan for fast lanes and also insist that there is no need to alter the ways in which they are regulated. They consider that slowing down specific content on specific sites or blocking content isn’t what they are after. However, they maintain that few companies take a lot of data, such as Netflix and YouTube, so they should bear the cost of handling such heavy traffic they generate.
However, this step wasn’t much appreciated by designers across the globe. Henna Ray, leading designer and blogger who has published dozens of thought-provoking blog posts and reports was cited as saying, “Good user engagement is all about interactive content, rather than traditional text-based content. So, with the limitations in the threshold of data, designers will force themselves to use inferior graphic elements in rising concepts such as infographics and ad posts. Thus, losing a lot of creative value for the sake of this so called ‘’Highway Rule”.
Such an old news though!!!
Since 1996, the FCC has managed to keep the concept of ”open internet”, courtesy to Telecommunication Act. This was done with the intention to encourage competition in the telephone and cable industry. However, the glass was shattered by almost a weightless stone.
President Barrack Obama and consumer advocates share same opinion over this chaos. They consider implementing Title II of 1934 Communication Act which was written some odd 8o years ago. This specific law wouldn’t allow companies to charge unreasonable rates from services which are critical to society.
When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Most of the users across the globe are most active on internet through smartphones. Be it to watch online video, play games, read or shop. The FCC estimates that as much as 55% of Internet traffic comes through mobile broadband networks.
This means that services on mobile won’t be blocked or go into ninja mode after being a tortoise, because it competes with an offering from the carrier. This specific proposal applies for app as well. In fact, the border lines has been extended to far-off companies. Rumors are that Verizon and AT&T are in development stage for a mobile payment system called Soft Card which blocks the access to rival payment apps such as Apple Pay.
The last inch of us
So what’s there not to like about net neutrality? Internet service providers love the concept. But they don’t want to fall under costly regulation and live with guilt that it will hurt the economy. This is what they say; the internet is having a perfect walk in the garden, thanks to many expensive investments in network upgrades and infrastructure. So now, in order to continue having a perfect walk, they need to get rid of unnecessary regulations – precisely it will cost them more money which otherwise can be spend on expanding and improving their networks.
Not a very invalid statement, I guess!