Forget that you work in the industry. Jeremy Kaplan, who writes about technology at FoxNews.com, says there’s a reason Jane and Joe Consumer need to pay attention to the Federal Communications Commission ruling on net neutrality:
Kaplan writes, "Thanks for watching that YouTube video! That will be 50 cents, please. Sound unrealistic? It’s actually fairly likely, thanks to a ruling handed down Tuesday [Dec. 21, 2010] by the FCC that will allow Internet service providers to charge customers based on the amount of bandwidth they use. And some argue that it’s the greatest threat to freedom we face today. Welcome to the complex world of net neutrality."
He continues, " ‘Internet service giants like Comcast and Verizon want to offer premium and privileged access to the Internet for corporations who can afford to pay for it,’ worried Minnesota senator Al Franken in an editorial at the Huffington Post. ISPs argue — and the FCC just agreed — that they should be allowed to charge based on the amount of bandwidth they use. It remains to be seen whether the type of content will be protected, however. The more people speculate, the more the nightmarish scenarios quickly pile up."
Kaplan’s conclusion: "Net neutrality may be designed to allow for a tiered Internet. Or it may end up preventing one entirely. Who knows? The FCC held most discussions behind closed doors, until this morning’s debate and final approval of the regulations.But either way, it’s bound to end up affecting your wallet. And you should care — if for no other reason than that."