Why All the Hype Over Net Neutrality? - Slide 3

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Understandably, telecommunications companies and broadband service provider don’t like the idea that they need to treat all traffic equally because – let’s face it – online games and streaming audio and video use more bandwidth than e-mail and simple Web surfing. As such, they have proposed a tiered pricing structure under which services that use more bandwidth would cost more. They also argue that disallowing such a pricing structure will stifle innovation because the companies won’t have the resources they need to keep up with advances in technology.

On the other hand, the Federal Communications Commission and open Internet advocates like Media Access Project and the Open Internet Coalition, among others, argue that the absence of net neutrality regulations will allow the service providers to control who can do and say what via the Internet and that only the large companies with the deep pockets will be able to afford the bandwidth to take advantage of the Internet. This deprives smaller companies and individuals of the opportunity innovate and to reach a wider audience and essentially denies their freedom of speech, the groups say.

When the FCC first announced its proposed net neutrality rules, the agency received one letter after another explaining either why net neutrality was a must for the U.S. or why it would destroy innovation and investment in the Internet. Even President Obama weighed in on the matter.

But why should you care what the politicians finally decide? The final decision will determine what role the Internet plays in the evolution of business and technology and who has control of that process in the long run.

In this slideshow, Lora Bentley draws the answers to basic questions on net neutrality from IT Business Edge coverage of the issues.

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Related Topics : SharePoint, Web Video and Voice Conferencing, UK, MySpace, Intranets

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