Michael Ciarlo has a great visual depiction of the internet now and how it could wind up given the current state of Net Neutrality law. Without regulations keeping the internet open and nondiscriminatory, he visualizes the way that ISP’s could suddenly start charging per-pageview or impacting performance on competing services (Eg. Comcast could charge you extra for using Hulu instead of their own Fancast site).
I created TheOpenInter.net to depict a time in the future when ISPs control the Internet and all data is not downloaded equally. While creating the site’s design, I had the idea to bundle Netflix and Hulu as a package ISPs required you to buy. Halfway through development, I questioned the reality of my portrayal. Was I too far off-base? Then to my surprise a Wired article titled “Mobile Carriers Dream of Charging per Page” showed almost the exact same scenario. While there is no documentation within the article to prove wireless carriers have any current plans to implement a similar pricing structure, the fact that evidence exists to suggest its consideration is frightening.
It’s a great visualization, all built on a single very-tall webpage with HTML and CSS.
via Michael Ciarlo // Designer, Developer, Gamer.
If you plan on becoming rich and famous by creating the next big online data visualization or analysis application, then you better hurry up. Seems as though the FCC is about to hand the key to the internet over to AT&T and Comcast, giving them free reign to charge us all to oblivion with mobile internet costs.
Instead of a rule to protect Internet users’ freedom to choose, the Commission has opened the door for broadband payola – letting phone and cable companies charge steep tolls to favor the content and services of a select group of corporate partners, relegating everyone else to the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road.
Instead of protecting openness on wireless Internet devices like the iPhone and Droid, the Commission has exempted the mobile Internet from Net Neutrality protections. This move enshrines Verizon and AT&T as gatekeepers to the expanding world of mobile Internet access, allowing them to favor their own applications while blocking, degrading or de-prioritizing others.
If you think this is a bit paranoid and extremist, just check out this slide Wired got from a recent presentation by Allot Communications & Openet of a proposed new pricing scheme of 2c per MB for Facebook, showing them charging by the bit for various data services.
UPDATE: If you don’t quite get Net Neutrality, then read this excellent letter from Steve Wozniak (one of the founders of Apple Computer) who breaks it down simply. More than just packets are on the line here, it’s the public’s perception of the government fighting for the people and not for the wealthy businesses. The cables are run, the lines are already there, just let us keep using them.
via Timothy Karr: Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality — Tuesday Betrayal Assured.