Net neutrality new rules expected to be ratified
Today, the FCC is expected to approve the new rules about access to services like Skype, YouTube, and Netflix.
According to many, it’s the most important free speech issue of our time. Why? Because when the new rules are enforced you could have access to Skype on your PC but not on your cellphone unless you are on WiFi. Wired internet providers (Qwest, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T…) won’t be able to block content and online services from competitors or give better streaming to paying clients under the new rules. This is quite interestingly good news but the new rules will let mobile providers (the same Qwest, Verizon, AT&T) to block services if they are not competitors. Verizon Wireless will not be able to block Skype because it provides a rival voice service but Verizon could charge Skype fees.
The worse of the worse, the new rules will allow providers to charge customers for using high-bandwidth services. Using YouTube or Netflix may cost you a lot. Also, Verizon Wireless may cut Google map or Picasa and why not Facebook, these services are not in competition with Verizon Wireless services so they could be cut! Nice.
Personally I don’t like this new net-neutrality and I feel that the rules are open to interpretation rather than open internet. Big names I use like Netflix, Skype and Amazon Video have also expressed reservations about the net-neutrality rules.
My US senator Al Franken said the vote would decide “the most important free speech issue of our time” – but he is missing the point and instead of making comments like this one he should work harder on making the internet better and safer – why not forbidding illegal porn, illegal gambling, illegal pharmacies and other illegal activities. But I know that won’t happen anytime soon.
So the rule will ratified very soon and we will see how it’s applied.