Get Ready for the Two-Speed Internet

Dan Lyons: Thanks to net neutrality, we'll probably have fast and slow lanes
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2010 5:46 PM CST
Net neutrality could mean a speedier Internet, if you can afford it.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – So what can we expect from the new FCC rules to create the abstract-sounding concept of net neutrality? For one thing, we'll eventually have "two Internets—the fast one, with great content, that costs more (maybe a lot more) to use, and then the MuggleNet, which is free but slow and crappy," writes Dan Lyons at the Daily Beast. "Cable TV vs. rabbit ears." That's because the FCC decided to allow carriers to create "fast lanes" and charge Internet companies more to use them. The disparity will be even more pronounced on wireless, which the rules ignored.

This two-speed Internet could in turn create what Lyons calls an "information divide"—in which people who can afford it get better access to information of all kinds, with "huge implications for politics, economics, and even democracy itself." Both progressives, who think the FCC caved to the carriers, and conservatives, who think the government is overreaching yet again, are complaining about the rules, which says something. "The FCC’s compromise probably represents the best deal anyone could get," writes Lyons. Read his full column here.

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