25 November 2017

Net neutrality

On 7 December, the US Federal Communications Commission is likely to vote to remove "net neutrality", the requirement that internet service providers treat all traffic coming through them equally and do not discriminate for or against a particular traffic source with different speeds.

This has got parts of the Internet, Reddit in particular, up in arms. With internet provision in the US largely restricted to four big providers (Comcast, AT&T, Verizon & Time Warner), with some areas only having access to one, they are concerned this will lead to sites that particular ISP doesn't like being throttled or even blocked, especially if the site doesn't pay what the ISP wants. Netflix has had this problem in the past. With US internet costs pretty high as is (like $120 a month) this is something that they are not happy about.

I don't want this to go - it won't personally affect me and there doesn't seem to be any danger of it happening in the UK, Brexit or otherwise. It will be bad for many start-ups - survivable, but still bad.

However, I sincerely hope that social media can also get as worked up about issues more important to all our future than internet speeds. Like climate change.

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