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How the end of net neutrality might look to an ordinary customer

New rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission earlier this week could allow Internet service providers to charge companies such as Facebook and Google in exchange for giving users faster access to their Web sites. The proposal has not yet been made public, so the details are uncertain, but advocates for consumers worry that a system might develop in which users have to pay higher fees to be able to use certain sites smoothly. They are describing the proposal as potentially the end of net neutrality, the principle that has governed the Internet since its inception and that has guaranteed equal speeds for large, established firms as well as newer companies and ordinary nerds’ pet projects.

The commission has said that such concerns are unjustified and premature, since the new rules will not be voted on until May 15.

The above parody shows what a service provider’s monthly plan might look like without net neutrality. Customers might be asked to choose the groups of sites that they want to pay for, as they do now for cable television. Engineers with new ideas for Web sites might have to pay substantial fees in order for potential users to access their sites easily, much as those who want to put new channels on TV screens must overcome major financial barriers. Proponents of net neutrality worry that such a system would impede technological innovation.

Many thanks to quink of Reddit for sharing the above image with Know More. Click below to continue reading about net neutrality.

Max Ehrenfreund | April 25, 2014 at 9:58 am
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