A tiered Internet is a bad idea harmful to small business

Dec 21, 2014 | Blog, Internet policy

Schenectady’s Daily Gazette on December 14 published an opinion piece we wrote concerning the proposal by some to create a “tiered” Internet. A tiered Internet would exist where some content providers pay to have their content prioritized in its delivery to end users. What this means in practice is that very big companies would be able to pay to speed up their content to customers. Does this matter? Think about your own use of the Internet. Do you favor speedier websites or slower ones? Kind of a no brainer.

What about small business? Well, realistically, small businesses would be not be able to “pay to play”. Their content may arrive more slowly, and so they –we– would be at a a distinct disadvantage compared to those who can afford to and do pay to have their content favored by Internet service providers.

What has made the Internet such an engine of innovation is the basic principle that every company has equal access to the end user. When the big guys and gals start to get their content to customers faster than the small guys and gals, innovation and consumer choice and experience inevitably will suffer.

Because I wrote the piece, and am passionate about the issue, I am making it available here as a PDF: A tiered Internet is bad for small business and consumer choice.

Image source: Der vivisector from Wellcome Library, London, used with Creative Commons License.

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