Beyond Net Neutrality

Timothy B. Lee | Vox | May 2, 2014

The new battle for the future of the internet

When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, he didn’t need to ask Comcast, Verizon, or other internet service providers to add Facebook to their networks. He also didn’t have to pay these companies extra fees to ensure that Facebook would work as well as the websites of established companies. As soon as he created the Facebook website, it was automatically available from any internet-connected computer in the world.

This aspect of the internet is network neutrality. And a lot of network neutrality supporters fear it's in danger. President Obama pledged to support net neutrality on the campaign trail in 2007. But many Obama supporters have felt let down by Obama's choice to lead the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler.

Last week Wheeler announced a new set of network neutrality regulations. The details haven't been released yet, but press accounts indicate that Wheeler's proposal will allow internet service providers to offer a "fast lane" for online services, a concept that's anathema to network neutrality stalwarts...