Net Neutrality Issue: ISPs Eager To Charge Websites For Fast Connection
May of this year, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed to pass a legislation that would allow Internet Service Provider (ISP) companies to charge websites and other online services for access to faster and more reliable communication pathways. This means that these cable companies are to create a two tiered Internet.
Not only does this law allow discrimination, as it develops a ‘fast lane’ and ‘slow lane’ for access, it also damages the interests of the websites as a whole.
Moreover, this legislation goes against the principle of Net Neutrality as well. Net Neutrality refers to the freedom of free communication through the Internet. While websites are trying their level best to raise awareness among users about net neutrality, the ISPs are forcing those websites to fall prey to this new rule.
In one recent example, top American ISPs like AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon are forcing Netflix to pay a fee to improve streaming quality for customers. Netflix claims that these companies are throttling the streaming traffic, rendering their services unattainable. However, the ISPs argue that major companies like Netflix put a great deal of strain on their network so they should pay for a ‘premium’ service.
“Cable companies are famous for high prices and poor service. Several rank as the most hated companies in America,” said the Fight for the Future organisation, which is protesting against the proposed legislation.
“Now, they’re attacking the Internet–their one competitor and our only refuge–with plans to charge websites arbitrary fees and slow to a crawl any sites that won’t pay up. If they win, the internet dies.”
Battle For The Net conducted protests on the 10th of September along with partners like Fight For The Future and Demand Progress. Though the websites were not actually being slowed down, many sites like NetFlix, Reddit, and Grooveshark pretended to become super slow to portray to the users what the future of the Internet would be like in case the legislation does get passed. Along with the slowing down, the websites are asking the users to pressurize the FCC, Congress and White House to reject the legislation which damages net neutrality.
If the choking legislation is passed, it would have a major impact on the current infrastructure of the Internet along with the rights of net neutrality that call for free and unattended communication.
“Cable companies would have the power to discriminate against online content and applications – they could pick winners and losers, shake sites down for fees, block content for political reasons, and make it easier for Internet users to view cable content,” Fight for the Future explained.
If you believe the cause of these websites, and wish to open websites at a faster rate, you are encouraged to sign this open letter by Battle For The Net to the lawmakers of this legislation.