Earlier today reports struck that the FCC was considering new net neutrality rules that would allow content purveyors to pay ISPs for preferential access to their networks. This would have made it possible for content companies to speed the delivery of their material across the Internet. The FCC, nearly a full working day after the story broke, has responded in the negative:
“There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open Internet rule. They are flat out wrong. Tomorrow we will circulate to the Commission a new Open Internet proposal that will restore the concepts of net neutrality consistent with the court’s ruling in January. There is no ‘turnaround in policy.’ The same rules will apply to all Internet content. As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court’s decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted.”
Two cheers for the FCC: It won’t make the Internet worse — at least in this fashion.
Why the kerfuffle? Simply put, a tiered Internet is slanted towards incumbents at the expense of newcomers. This stifles innovation and harms the consumer, at the anti-cost to extant powers in the form of all-but-unearned financial renumeration.
So if the FCC had in fact created rules that would have allowed for companies to pay to accelerate their content’s delivery, it would have fucked the Internet. Said fucking will not take place.
We still have a very long way to go to getting net neutrality back to where it was, and perhaps even bolstering it past where it sat before it was knocked from its perch. But it appears we do have one less battle ahead of us. I’ll take it.
More tomorrow when the FCC lets us in on its thinking.