We have all ween the videos and read the articles about how life as we know it will be over if net neutrality ends. Well – the vote happened and the FCC has officially voted to end it.
So what does that really mean?
Simply put it could mean all of those scary things we’ve heard. It could mean that the internet will turn into being similar to cable. Where the providers can charge more if you want to stream Netflix or different level packages will be provided that cater to different websites.
But there could be upsides as well.
It could mean some sites that take up less bandwidth will be available – even without an internet package.
For example, if the ISPs can charge companies that take up a lot of bandwidth like Netflix, they could be able to offer Wikipedia or even Facebook without charging the consumer for access.
It could also mean that since the ISP isn’t paying for the cost of the bandwidth, they can pay to upgrade their networks. Meaning faster internet overall.
With everything being equal there is less of an incentive to innovate, causing the networks to stay exactly how they are now.
I know what you might be thinking – “But what about porn?”
Don’t worry, that isn’t going anywhere either. If anything the sites you use could pay for a better connection which means less buffering.
What might change about that is actual age limits.
Right now anyone can click that nice little checkbox saying that they are 18 years or older. The end of net neutrality means the ISPs can block those sites until they can verify the age of the internet user.
It will also give the ISPs the ability to show ‘unconventional’ sex acts.
It might sound really scary because it’s new uncharted territory – but the future of the internet without net neutrality might not be so bleak.