Today, vital portions of the FCC’s Open Internet rules were struck down in federal court. These rules, put in place in 2010, were designed to preserve what advocates call net neutrality — an assurance that internet providers can’t favor one kind of traffic over another, or charge for access to certain parts of the internet. All traffic, according to the rules, was to be treated equally. Verizon challenged these rules, and mostly won.
Ohne Netzneutralität wird es zu Datendiskriminierung und damit zur Festigung der Positionen der heute bereits großen Internetkonzerne und Schwächung aller kleineren Unternehmen und Startups kommen; von nicht gewinnorientierten Anbietern wie der Wikipedia und dem Internet Archive ganz zu schweigen.
The appeal of the latter arrangement to the internet’s largest companies is even more obvious: It would give them unprecedented control over the internet and its users. If, in this future, you’re choosing between two streaming music services, and one of them pays for your data, there’s a very good chance you’re going to pick that one.
But which one would be able to do that? The largest one, the incumbent. “This will have profound implications for the internet’s ecology,” says Feld. Worse, he worries, companies that were willing to fight for net neutrality in the old days won’t be such strong allies in 2014, now that they are the largest incumbents on the internet. “They’re big, and they can negotiate,” he says. “Once you’re on the inside, exclusion doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. If you’re Google, maybe getting access for YouTube is what you want, rather than what you want to fight.”