Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Web Lite, or pay up? Fake ad imagines a non-neutral net

Could this be the Internet's future?

Web Lite, or pay up? Fake ad imagines a non-neutral net

The news that a Washington appeals court has tossed out the FCC's 2010 "Open Internet" order gives new currency to this 2009 graphic created by a Reddit user named Quink. As I noted in yesterday's Tech Life column, Comcast has promised to abide by the principles anyway, at least till 2018. Verizon, which took the Federal Communications Commission to court, has made similar, open-ended assurances.

So how will we know if broadband providers ever decide to block or discriminate against some Internet content, as the court now says they can? It might take another Robb Topolski, who discovered in 2007 that Comcast was secretly blocking BitTorrent, the file-sharing site. But it might also come, as Quink imagined, in cable-TV-style tiered offerings for Web access - as MetroPCS, now owned by T-Mobile, unveiled in 2011 right before it joined Verizon in challenging the FCC.

Jeff Gelles Inquirer Business Columnist
About this blog

Jeff Gelles, who writes the Inquirer's weekly Consumer 14.0 and Tech Life columns, takes a broad look at the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.

Reach Jeff at jgelles@phillynews.com.

Jeff Gelles Inquirer Business Columnist
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