Last week The Federal Trade Commission has made a controvercial decision that would allow telecomunication companies to charge websites for access. With this decision the commission ended the long lasted debate over net neutrality. Despite the popular support for net neutrality the Federal body has said that the decision “lets the market to sort out the issue”.
Abandoning net neutrality means that ISPs, network providers, and other connection providers are allowed to differentiate their pricing and to set various class connections to their customers.
According to the commission since the broadband Internet industry is developing and more consumers and businesses have high speed Internet, there is no risk of lessening the competition.
“In the absence of significant market failure, or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area.”, says the FDC report.
The FDC’s decision however made the online community very angry about the new regulation. The main worries are that abandonment of net neutrality paved the way to corporations, network and backbone connectivity providers to outspend small and start-up businesses.
The fears come mostly because the main telecommunication companies in North America are also the owners of some of the largest Internet content providers. So web based companies such as Google, Yahoo and smaller networks are apprehensive about the possibility of paying additional charges to telecoms only for access to certain websites.
What Does All This Mean In Daily Life?
Companies such as Earthlink for example are now allowed to bump their competition by offering their own customers free web hosting, e-mail and other services as a part of their Internet access plans. That will harm even more most smaller web hosting providers and to force many of them to leave the business.
The FDC’s decision gives a hard time to anyone who wants to start professional e-mail hosting service or to provide any kind of web services that ususaly come as a free or cheap add-on to broadband Internet access plans.
The other issue is that network and ISP providers are now allowed to impose access fees over the usage of Google’s, Yahoo’s, and social networking web sites. This would open a “market war” between large corporations in the level of providing quality online content. Those who are in better position to bring more users to their websites at low cost will benefit more from the multi billion dollar online advertising industry.