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Nancy Kaffer: Why You Should Be Worried About Net Neutrality

Publication Date: 
May 04, 2014
Source: 
Detroit Free Press
Author: 
Nancy Kaffer

Professor Barbara van Schewick breaks down the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules and how they may give some companies a competitive advantage over others with Nancy Kaffer of The Detroit Press. 

If you like the way the Internet is now, I’ve got some bad news for you: Things may be changing.

New rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission could mean we are entering a new era in which large, private companies can pay access fees to reach online customers more quickly — creating a fast lane on the Internet for those who can pay, and, as a result, a slow lane for those who can’t.

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Here’s how Barbara van Schewick of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society puts it: “Access fees would significantly increase the costs of offering applications, content and services, which would fundamentally change the environment for innovation and free speech on the Internet. ... Large companies will usually be able to pay access fees. By contrast, start-ups or other innovators without significant outside funding would not be able to pay these fees, putting them at an immediate competitive disadvantage to established companies that can pay.”