Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Ajit Pai Will Head the FCC and Likely Kill Net Neutrality

Brian Feldman, New York magazine:

The net-neutrality debate is about whether one class of private entities, ISPs, should be regulated in order to allow millions of other private entities, users and businesses operating online, to operate freely. Pretty much everyone agrees that they should — except for the ISPs … and Ajit Pai. Pai even wrote a 67-page(!) dissent when the order was adopted. Even Google and Facebook support the principle, in part because they often buy up the smaller startups that flourish on an unfettered internet. Imagine an internet where, rather than buying Instagram for $1 billion, Facebook instead paid for a fast lane and forced Instagram out by other means.

We already use one social network for seeing short-form messages from faraway friends, a different website for getting irritated by real-life friends, and a single app for posting small pictures from our phones. There’s one major analytics package that most popular websites use, one place most of us visit to find other websites, and one online store we use.

The consolidation of the web’s major services has happened, but it doesn’t have to be like this into eternity as long as every website has an equal chance. Pai wants to gut net neutrality and create a pay-to-play model. I can’t think of anything worse for the future of the web.