You’ve probably heard about the recent net neutrality ruling in favor of Verizon against the FCC. But do you know what this means for the future of the Internet? This article from Digital Trends provides an update on how Netflix feels about it. They are a good example because Netflix would be impacted the most out of this ruling. But in essence, any large content provider is at risk of having to pay ISPs to make sure their traffic can get to you without degradation. This is in fact already happening. Have you heard of AT&T’s Sponsored Data Program? AT&T will allow certain traffic to reach your mobile phone without it impacting your data plan usage. Although this may sound like a good deal to consumers, this is precisely the slippery slope that proponents of Net Neutrality want to avoid. Eventually AT&T could offer some of the more well known sites such as Netflix under this scheme. They could do this by forcing Netflix to pay them for access to your devices. When this happens, consumers will end up either paying higher fees directly to Netflix or worse, paying a fixed premium fee for exclusive free access to a bundle of sites. But nothing is really free. The cost of this is the destruction of the free (as in liberty) Internet and a path which is closer towards the cable TV arrangements of today.
— David Karim (@davidkarim) January 27, 2014