What you are looking at here is a mock-up of a payment plan for Internet use if Net Neutrality fails. ISPs will be able to make individual deals with websites and charge for access to the most popular ones. The go-anywhere, do-anything Internet we have now will cease to exist overnight. If the thought of bandwidth capping and limiting transfer rates worried you, then the loss of NN should make you piss yourself in fear.
For those that aren’t aware, here’s a short primer on NN:
Right now, your ISP delivers access to all internet sites equally, or at least they are supposed to – Comcast and a few others are getting sued over some limiters they’ve implemented, but anyway. If Comcast is my ISP, then they’ll deliver my request to, say, ATT just as fast as they would to their own website. The ISP shows neutrality toward all connections their customers request. But, if they didn’t do this, then they could cherry pick what content they allowed through. For example if Microsoft were to buy an ISP, they could then block all access to any Apple-favored websites. Hell, they could probably just pay Comcast to do it. The content you receive over your ISP’s connection would be at their discretion, not yours.
Currently, the Obama administration and the FCC are trying to preserve NN, but the Republicans are doing everything they can to throw a monkey wrench into it. John McCain, that bastion of technological advancement, has introduced a bill called the Internet Freedom Act that would block the FCC from declaring NN as de jure law instead of de facto policy. Should I mention that McCain’s campaign is the single largest recipient of telecom money in political history? And that the telecom companies stand to make billions if this goes through?
If you want to support continued Net Neutrality, SaveTheInternet.com has all the information you need.
Graphic from Gizmodo.