This week, net neutrality died.
This week, net neutrality died. Tuesday's ruling by the Washington appeals court will change the face of the internet forever, placing immense power in the hands of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast. "AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast will be able to deliver some sites and services more quickly and reliably than others for any reason," telecommunications lawyer Marvin Ammorim observed even before the ruling came down. "Whim. Envy. Ignorance. Competition. Vengeance. Whatever. Or, no reason at all." Comcast has already been found guilty of violating existing standards of transmission by changing online traffic patterns against BitTorrent, a competitor of Comcast's own on-demand video services. The greatest problem is the lack of competition for ISP providers. Most homes in the U.S. have to use their local cable company. Lobbyists in Washington from the cable and telecommunications industry have already fought ferociously to increase the power and encourage greater monopolization of those they represent. What does this mean for us? Does it mean the era of the net phenomenon that rise from nowhere is over? What does it mean for musicians, writers and artists? How will it affect the next business phenom like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest? It most definitely means that start up companies, especially potential competitors of these large companies, will no longer have the freedom of open competition on the level playing field of access. It is truly a sad day.