Skip to content

The Day the Internet Died

In January, a federal court struck down net neutrality requirements that had been put in place by the FCC in 2010. That was strike one.

Then, just a few weeks ago, the FCC announced their intent to allow companies to buy preferred (faster, more responsive) access to the internet. Strike two.

This started a huge argument. On one side were companies like Verizon and Comcast who stand to profit greatly from the death of net neutrality, and who naturally claim that net neutrality is just an innovation-killing government regulation. On the other side are companies and individuals who benefit from a free and open internet, and who claim that net neutrality is important to preserve the internet we know and depend on.

So MIT looked into it and issued a report, and what they found was frightening to say the least. They talked to venture capital firms to see how the new regulations might affect them. Ironically even though these new regulations have not yet gone into effect, VC firms said that they have already stopped funding startup internet firms because if the new regulations go into effect they will significantly impact the potential profitability of many internet startups.

It is bad when strike three happens even before the pitcher throws the ball.

UPDATE: Over 150 major internet companies have sent a letter to the FCC asking that they protect net neutrality rules.

UPDATE2: An Internet Hosting Provider takes the maxim that turnabout is fair play, and throttles FCC access to their sites to the speed of a dial-up connection. They point out that while this sounds outrageous, this is exactly what the FCC is proposing. Naturally, if the FCC wants to pay them for faster access, they will gladly provide it to them.