With some new rules, the FCC (United States Federal Communications Commissions) will allow Internet service providers to give better access speeds to companies like Netflix for a price. This has been an issue discussed for a number of years because of the debatable changes that would have been attempted to be made. A recent quote from the ruling goes, “broadband providers would be required to offer a baseline level of service to their subscribers, along with the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers."

In the past, the FCC has defended against ideas for freedom on the internet with rulings that are not always used, but are in place. Paying for better internet could be a good thing though, correct? The Open Internet Order(OIO), which was passed in 2010, prohibits broadband providers from “unreasonably discriminating” in transmitting “lawful network traffic”. It was overturned in an appeal that originated with Verizon earlier this year. In 2005, it was ruled that an internet provider could not discriminate against certain types of traffic and had to make sure that the average person doesn't get their speed throttled because they cannot pay the "toll" on the road. This notion is where and what the Open Internet Order expands upon. Why it's bad or good is up to you, but some changes that are happening with it are making activists worry about the future of the internet.

In the mentioned 2010 decision, it was decided that there could be a company that pays for a certain quality of service as long as balance and unbiased access is maintained. Netflix recently had a deal with Comcast after the overturn of the OIO, in which they pay for an "on ramp" to the internet to get better speeds for their consumers. These types of deals have been fought against in order to preserve the quality providers can give without competition and regulations which stifle heavy traffic sites like YouTube. What comes from this deal will change the market and how everyone reacts to the internet because of the base level we all access it at. Whether or not the FCC will keep the change to rules or not remains to be seen, but it will have people writing and talking about it soon.

This whole issue is reminiscent of PIPA/ACTA/SOPA and how it tried to fundamentally change the internet but activists made sure it was gotten rid of. Do you think this threatens the internet as we know it or will make some of the best services become better? Opinions / comments welcomed.

Some sources reporting on this