Beyond Network Neutrality

    Recently, a significant event in the Internet industry has occurred. The U.S. Court of Appeals has effectively allowed US Internet providers not to comply with network neutrality. It would seem, how can this affect ordinary users? Now we will try to find out.

    Most ordinary people and ordinary Internet users are hardly familiar with the concept of net neutrality. This is a relatively new and still little studied area on the World Wide Web, especially in Russia.

    When Mark Zuckerberg created the Facebook social network at the Harvard University dormitory, access to it was automatically available on any computer in the world. Now for a moment, try to imagine that you simply may not have such an opportunity, since an Internet provider with full rights can reduce traffic, or even restrict your right to use.

    What is network neutrality?

    To make it easier to understand, network neutrality can be compared to urban highway. Previously, you could drive along it calmly, overtaking and realigning if necessary. Now imagine that on this highway an additional lane has been opened for the elite, or made it toll, or even banned the movement of individual cars on the highway. It would seem a banal example, but after a court decision in the USA, Internet providers will be able to speed up specific network lines and slow down others, or charge a separate fee for access to some resources.

    What is it fraught with in Russia?

    As we have said, on the American Internet, the changes will be significant. Given the most pessimistic assumptions, giants such as Skype, Google or WhatsApp will simply become paid resources. As for Russia, things are much better here. Changes will be minimal, since US law has no relation to Russian. Everything will remain the same, but what will happen to new startups? Indeed, many are eager to create a new Facebook or Instagram, but now if it becomes necessary to pay taxes to Internet service providers, then it will be much more difficult to implement. Internet providers will essentially become the main players in the global network and will themselves create its culture. According to experts, with the abolition of network neutrality, the Internet will lose innovation and will slowly perish. Of course,

    Further situation

    Since network neutrality is still poorly understood, it is still impossible to give a definite answer. There are many books on this subject, but most of them are mediocre, however. In one book, authored by the creator of the term “network neutrality,” Tim Wu, one clever idea sounds. It says that any new way of transmitting information from the radio to the Internet over the years turns into a closed industry, a platform for the game, which is played by several major players, which creates an incentive to create another way of exchanging information.

    But, we, ordinary users can only observe the situations, and remember that any changes for the better.

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