Goodbye Net Neutrality, Hello Gilded Age Internet
Did you hear about the recent federal appeals court ruling that shot down the terribly-named "net neutrality?" Most people probably didn't notice the news and aren't quite sure what net neutrality actually means anyway. Before the court ruling, Internet service providers had to treat all content going through their pipes equally, just like conversations are treated going through a phone line. That is "net neutrality."
After the ruling, if you're a big company with some bucks, you can pay Verizon, Comcast or a similar ISP to speed your data along faster. For the right price, your data can jump ahead in line. ISPs will also be allowed to block content they find objectionable, though they swear they would never ever do that, of course.
Doesn't sound like that big of a deal, right? Imagine, though, two or more "Internets," one that zips along the latest Netflix movie and another Internet that creeps along, delivering boring old educational material to public libraries. The Internet will be as fast as you can pay, which seems like a sure way to kill Al Gore's best invention ever. Enjoy the cartoon, let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to share along the not-so-neutral net. And as usual, you can find more links to the news behind the cartoon on my website.