Suggestions this week on the possibility of a two-tiered Internet in the future has certainly stirred things up. The remarks quickly became a trending topic on Twitter (as well as a discussion point here at 247Moneybox.com) as web users digested what it could mean for them.
The UK government looks likely to approve Ofcom plans to permit ISPs to abandon net neutrality and prioritise some kinds of Internet traffic. Ofcom recently completed a consultation on net neutrality, concluding that there could be a real economic benefit for a two-sided market to emerge, especially in areas such as internet TV.
The new communications minister Ed Vaizey agrees, preferring to rely on market forces rather than regulation. His stance will certainly be welcomed by leading ISPs. Both BT and Talk Talk said recently that they would be prepared to prioritise traffic from certain content providers – for a fee.
However, consumer campaigners are opposed to any change which will threaten choice. “It will undermine the competitive nature of the Internet, and provide opportunities for market abuse,” said Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group.