Last month, a DC circuit court ruled that the FCC could no longer stop an Internet provider from speeding up or slowing down Web traffic depending on the site. For example, if Verizon wants to charge Netflix more money to carry the service to its customers, Verizon could theoretically “throttle” Netflix’s Web speeds, slowing them down until they agree to cough up the cash. (There’s been a lot of speculation that this is already happening, but both Verizon and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings deny it. I offer some alternate theories here).
So why should we care? Isn’t this just some inside baseball telecom drama that doesn’t concern us? Not so fast. This ruling could have a huge impact on what we see and don’t see on the Web, threatening the democratic nature of the Internet.
In one minute, we explain the importance of Net Neutrality, and what this ruling means for the free and open Web:
[An Explainer Music production; Music by Andrew Bean, Lyrics by David Holmes, Video by Sharon Shattuck]
[Image via Truthout]