A federal court in the United States gave a grave slap to net neutrality by rejecting the FCC’s rules intended to prevent Internet service providers from prioritizing certain types of content.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, net neutrality is a principle that prevents ISPs from limiting web traffic for customers who pay less to give more bandwidth to those who pick larger packages. Furthermore, companies are forced not to discriminate or charge differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment and modes of communication.
The topic has been the subject of debate for more than a decade and it has been supported by numerous important people, including Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Web, and Vinton Cerf, the father of the Internet.
Back in 2010, the Federal Communication Commission adopted a new set of rules that didn’t really suit everyone’s business plan. Verizon claimed the FCC was overstepping its legal authority by putting net neutrality rules into writing.
Companies such as Verizon only seek to make an extra dollar and claim that some sites with heavy traffic, such as Netflix or YouTube, the likes that stream content, are putting a strain on their infrastructure. In consequence, those who visit the sites and want to have speedy connections should pay more.
Now that the court has sided with Verizon on the issue, the company is open to do as it pleases, namely put in practice one of its plans expressed back in September – applying different pricing models that aren’t hindered by net neutrality rules.
Protests were quick to come following the decision from the federal court and many consider that it could have a huge impact on the way the Internet is used.
The game isn’t over, however, as the Federal Communication Commission said that it would consider appealing the decision.