The Internet may be about to change forever. Cable companies are attempting to change the very foundations on which the web is built, at the expense of innovation and functionality. Why are they doing this? Quite simply it’s a revenue land-grab. Currently you pay your internet service provider a monthly fee and they give you all the web content you’ve searched for in exactly the same way. Industry giants like Microsoft can send data at exactly the same speed as a smaller company like StatusCake.com. This means despite StatusCake not having anywhere near the budget of Microsoft , on a purely technological basis at least, it’s a level playing field. This is net neutrality – the fundamental principle that all data is delivered equally.
Freedom of connection with any application to any party is the fundamental social basis of the internet. And now, is the basis of the society built on the internet. – Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web
US cable companies are attempting to abolish this idea of net neutrality. They want to be able to set a different speed of data delivery for different sites, and rather unsurprisingly they want to charge big money for your site’s data being delivered down the ‘fast’ lane. (These sites won’t actually be delivered faster, everything else will just be delivered slower)
So why does this matter?
If these rules existed years ago we may not have seen the likes of Netflix or even Google. Imagine back in 1998 when Google was first released from a University project, would people have flocked to the service if it took twice as long to load as the established Altavista search engine? The otherwise innovative Google would simply never have got out of the artificially slowed lane.
It would have been hamstrung by the existing players with bigger, deeper pockets. We believe strongly that the Internet should remain a forum for innovation and free expression. If we lose that we lose one of the greatest sociological accomplishments in history of humanity. We lose our voice to pre-established corporations. Free expression will be drowned out by the voices of the corporations speeding down the ‘fast’ lane of the highway.
The Internet has since its birth been a hotbed for innovation. It has changed the world socially, and economically, and the way in which we interact and communicate with each other.
Without this level playing field StatusCake would never have been able to enter the market and challenge the pre-established giants. Without competitors of all shapes and sizes pre-established giants have no pressure or desire to innovate – stagnation becomes the norm. By stifling the competition it is the consumer who loses. At StatusCake we want a future in which companies, as we have done to those before us, can come in and compete against us and push the entire industry forward. That is good for the consumer. It is good for StatusCake.
We’re a British company but this current net neutrality debate isn’t just going to impact just those living in the United States; it will impact business globally. History has shown us time and time again once one country breaks a fundamental established principle others quickly follow.
If you’re in the United States and want to protect a free and open internet please share this post and encourage all your friend to contact the FCC and let them know why the principle of net neutrality is something that should be cherished and protected just as much as the First Amendment granting the Freedom of Speech.
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