Net neutrality – the edge of reason

Written by Mark Evans

The concept of net neutrality - where all internet traffic is treated equally – is expected to be dealt a serious blow as the law underpinning it is set to be repealed in the US.

The current law, drafted in the 1930s blissfully unaware of its future impact, bans internet service providers from being anything but impartial to traffic and content.

A five-person board at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to change that, allowing ISPs top ‘slow’ or ‘speed’ services, so that to bigger companies may be able to create faster services than small, or the consumers will need to pay more for data intense services such as streaming.

Furthermore there are worries over the concept of free-speech on an internet where not all things are equal. Free-marketeers naturally believe that it is logical to allow for different pricing models, and that such a system will help innovation and development of the internet.

In the EU 2016 rules protect net neutrality, and any US change will make no direct difference – however it may not be protection for ever.