Landmark U.S. “net neutrality” rules will expire on June 11, and new regulations handing providers broad new power over how consumers can access the internet will take effect, the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday in setting the date.
In December 2017, the FCC voted to repeal the 2015 set of rules for Internet traffic known as Net Neutrality, sparking outrage from opponents and applause from those concerned about government control of the Internet.
With this latest announcement, concerns about Internet service providers prioritizing certain levels of access is likely to resurface. However, as TPOH discussed in April, concerns about "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" misses the understanding of how the Internet operates; the idea that the online world functions in such a way is based on an antiquated understanding of the data processing.
Playing, perhaps, on the 1990s imagery of the Internet as an “information superhighway,” this rhetoric envisions broadband networks as segmented into various lanes of travel, with packets sorted into channels that move at different maximum speeds at all times. ...
This is a myth. All Internet traffic on a network moves at the same speed — the speed at which the electrons propagate on the wire. The problem is congestion: what happens when users want to transmit more data than the wire can physically manage at a particular moment. In this case, the network must drop some packets and allow others to go through. The dropped packets then must be resent, which delays the delivery of the service.
So are ISPs going to change fundamentally your online experience? Not likely, and even with the rules ending next month, Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have all pledged not to "throttle" access for anyone using the web for legal activity.
The world without Net Neutrality will not be all that much different than life before these burdensome rules were put in place. The real difference will be that businesses will be better able to respond to consumer desires and smaller competitors will be able to enter the marketplace.