Last week the Federal Communications Commission voted to move forward on new rules governing broadband internet service providers (ISPs) that would allow for "fast lanes," or the ability for providers to sell higher speeds of delivery for their content. The internet was awash in laments for the death of the web.
Critics fear those who can't afford to pay will be driven from the marketplace, hindering the growth and innovation the web affords to startups. Since the fall of current FCC rules with this year's Supreme Court case, Verizon v FCC, the government's media regulator has been attempting to rewrite rules to accommodate an open internet as well as to accommodate large internet providers. Many argue these goals are mutually exclusive.
They also worry about the power it gives ISPs to determine what users see. The proposed consolidation of Time Warner with Comcast and AT&T with DirecTV is the largest media conglomeration in U.S. history, which already has few large players.
Is this the end of open internet and the beginning of corporate-run internet?
- Russ Choma, money-in-politics reporter for opensecrets.org
- Laura Moy, staff attorney at Public Knowledge, an advocacy group working for an open internet
*This is the second segment in the May 20 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM. Audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.