Is Net Neutrality Possible?

August 10, 2010

Yesterday, Google and Verizon proposed a policy for the Internet that would allow for Internet service providers to prioritize data traffic online. The policy would open the door for mobile devices and subscription holders online to receive their data at a faster rate than those who would otherwise “normally” connect to the Internet.

The proposal seems to be a change from Google’s stance in the past. Before, Google was perhaps the most vocal supporter of net neutrality, the idea that any bit of data transferred online should be allowed to travel as fast as any other bit, which would allow any person online to have the same data speed as a company with warehouses full of servers.

Under the new policy, ISPs can prioritize data for customers that pay subscription fees for access. For example, if you were to subscribe to watch NFL games live online, your ISP could stream the games to you at a faster rate (and higher quality) than other video feeds. Neutrality advocates see this as a step back from a free Internet.

For SEO companies, the idea of prioritized data should not be troublesome. The policy proposal makes it possible for subscription services to be accessed faster, but existing websites on the existing Internet should remain unaffected. Speed and loading issues for clients’ websites should stay the same.

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