Edward Wyatt for the New York Times:

Those earlier rules effectively barred Internet service providers from making deals with services like Amazon or Netflix to allow those companies to pay to stream their products to viewers through a faster, express lane on the web. The court said that because the Internet is not considered a utility under federal law, it was not subject to that sort of regulation.

ISPs have a lot of money, and what they are doing now in their anti-net-neutrallity fight is a two part struggle:

  1. They are fighting to be able to charge big companies a lot of money.
  2. They are fighting to not become a “dumb pipe”.

I think the second point is the biggest motivation — and the same fight cell phone carriers are facing — where you simply do not want your service to be relegated to a service agnostic pipe.

I think of it like cable TV, where it reality you should be able to pay one price and get all 10,000 channels, but that’s not the case. Instead you pay extra for HBO, Showtime, etc — that annoyance is effectively what ISPs want to do to the Internet. Except, instead of blocking content from you (which would be wrong, obviously), ISPs just want to make non-paying content a bit slower than the other content.

I can see a future where Netflix pays Comcast to get faster service to users and users also pay Comcast to get faster Netflix service — a double profit for Comcast. Yuck.


Posted by Ben Brooks