Here comes the battle over precious Internet real estate. I'm still partial to the Internet 1 (business and commerce) and Internet 2 (LOLcats, porn and swearing) idea but as a person who makes a living from my work on the Internet, I hate to see any greasy fingers reaching into my pot, especially Google's.
Google and Verizon announced a joint proposal on Monday that would allow ISPs to offer premium content bundles over an unspecified global network — an unexpected gambit that would seem to call for separate and unequal internets.
The two companies say the guidelines would ensure that no internet traffic of kind is prioritized over other (with the exception of viruses, spam and the like). On the flipside, it would grant content companies looking to deliver services that require too much bandwidth for the regular internet to do so in return for payment, via a second set of pipes.
“There should be a new, enforceable prohibition against discriminatory practices,” reads part of their proposal, posted on both Verizon’s and Google’s websites. “For the first time, wireline broadband providers would not be able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful internet content, applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition.”
But wait a minute, isn't it discrimination if you're charging a premium to access the second, extra slick set of tubes capable of cranking out larger amounts of content on a streaming basis? Discrimination against starving publishers like myself who barely recoup hosting fees through ad revenue, let alone actually make a living off of these precious tubes.
Don't do it!
There are obviously more questions than there are answers at this point. Seems fairly obvious that providers would be far more interested in developing and improving the paid Internet while leaving the first set of tubes (Internet #2) rusty and clogged with spam. Want a spam-free experience? Pay us. Want to watch videos without obnoxious buffering every three seconds? Pay us.
With America pathetically trailing behind other parts of the world when it comes to Internet accessibility, I don't see how putting a pricetag on the tubes can solve our problems unless Google is paying for the infrastructure itself. Of course then it is theirs and we are simply allowed to use it.
Not much different than whatever it is we have going now.