I’m not sure if Big Brother’s peering out at us right now through our LCD monitors. Or maybe it’s just Little Brother, but when it’s Google and Verizon … it’s big enough.
Net neutrality is a core concept underpinning the foundations of the entire internet. Everything that goes through the “pipes” is treated equally: data packets to route to a destination.
Google has always been in favor of net neutrality … mostly out of fear that big ISPs with ties to media companies would slow down traffic to a bandwidth hog like YouTube while preferentially passing packets from, let’s say, CBC’s online TV offerings.
Now Google and Verizon are talking about net neutrality as if they are maintaining it … but are in fact talking about building new services over or above the existing open internet. To those who think this sounds familiar, this is precisely the kind of “embrace and extend” strategy for destruction that we have grown very familiar with from Redmond, WA.
Soon, the apps and services that are built on this new layer could get so compelling that people will want to, or would maybe even almost be forced to use it. At that moment, you’ve killed the internet and you’re back to AOL in the 90s.
A link you send to me may not work. Or, it maybe access a resource so slowly as to make little difference. An app or slice of media meant for some will not be accessible for others.
We already have enough of this trouble with geo-location and the transference of archaic locale-based TV broadcast rules onto the existing internet. We don’t need another entire layer disrupting this web we all live in.
Google, remember your unofficial motto: don’t be evil.