Net neutrality vote will require users to 'pay to play'

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[Commentary] With a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission overturned a long tradition — one that had only culminated in 2015 in the formalizing of the principle of net neutrality, but that had been honored long before open internet rules became official. The old rules were easy for service providers to follow and their repeal creates incentives to slow down net services to extract premium prices. As the FCC decision forces tiered access, this turns the public sphere into a pay-to-play arena: powerful corporations can pay to see their content served at fast speeds, while their competition (not to mention nonprofits) may be squeezed into a slower tier with less visibility. This not only creates barriers, it raises the specter of censorship. in the absence of open internet rules, the FCC has no levers to incentivize corporations to invest in technological innovation and deployment. The only incentive is for corporations to raise tolls. The losers in this decision are we, the people.

[Peter Krapp is a professor and chair of film and media studies at UC Irvine]


Net neutrality vote will require users to 'pay to play'