The clearest and simplest explanation yet for why Internet ‘fast lanes’ are a terrible idea

FCC Internet Fast Lanes Plan

We’ve heard a lot of good reasons to oppose the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to allow for the creation of Internet “fast lanes.” However, the best one we’ve seen so far might be from Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler, who has written an op-ed for The Washington Post in which he explains why any plan that lets ISPs charge more in exchange for traffic prioritization should be a nonstarter.

“[When we founded Kickstarter], we didn’t have to worry about whether our site’s content would be slower than a competitor that had some kind of exclusive ‘fast lane’ deal,” Strickler writes. “Such roadblocks would have created enormous logistical and financial hurdles — ones so big they might have shut us down before we got started. But that’s the world that start-ups will be born into if the FCC moves forward with its proposed rules allowing paid prioritization.”

And this really is the danger of giving up on net neutrality: That smaller companies will be faced with a de facto ISP tax in which they’ll have to raise a significant amount of venture capital just to get their services into the “fast lanes” that established incumbents such as Google, Facebook and Amazon would already have access to. It’s not hard to see how quickly this could have a chilling effect on startup activity in the United States.

“Sites unwilling or unable to pay up will be buffered to death: unloadable, unwatchable and left out in the cold,” Strickler explains. “This proposed system would incentivize entrepreneurs to divert resources from their customers and staff and into paid deals with ISPs. Trading healthy competition for deep pockets is a terrible way to create an innovative, competitive economy.”

Strickler’s whole piece is very much worth reading and can be found by clicking the source link below.

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