written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Thanks to a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has passed a new set of net neutrality regulations, meant to keep tabs on internet service providers; primarily meant to stamp out proposals that involved ISPs creating paid "fast-lanes" while conversely putting the rest of the internet on a "slow-lane" if they can't pay up to giants like Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Granted, news is still very much developing at this moment. Us here at Lifted Geek are please that fans of our website can still access our work without being unceremoniously slowed down thanks to us not willing to pay up to the Broadband Gods. The internet has evolved rapidly over the last two decades, and with the sheer gargantuan levels of commerce the web is capable of generating, the finance minded opportunist sees dollar signs.
It's difficult to feel compassion for the big cable giants. Companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable are consistently viewed as the worst companies in America, horrendously low approval ratings from subscribers doesn't make for a good impression when trying to imagine whatever plight these corporate fat cats may be facing in the wake of this decision.
Without much information at the moment, everything is still completely up in the air. But as optimistic as I feel for the ruling, it feels like we've traded one set of regulations for another. The internet isn't truly free, the ruling grants more power to the FCC, while at the moment this spells out a free and open internet... the problem lies in the notion that should the internet be regulated by any large group with power... whether a collection of corporations or a government agency.
As I stated, I do want to stay optimistic. This is a major blow to big cable who hasn't been the most transparent when it comes to how they deliver this commodity to the masses. Blatant throttling of customers who eat up large chunks of bandwidth not withstanding, big cable has made it a point to look out for their bottom line above taking care of their customers. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's expressed frustration over Netflix streams slowing down to a crawl after marathoning 10+ episodes of 24.
At least for now... I'm calling it a win. The internet should be an open place, our own personal printing press... a town forum rife with the opinions of the masses... that and cat pictures with funny captions.