Net VS Neutrality

Berne priority mail

One of the underlying principles of the Internet is that companies providing Internet access should treat all sources of data equally (= net neutrality).

A domain where this “equality principle” does not hold true is the postal service. The picture above shows a Swiss A-Priority letter. This sort of letter usually reaches its addressee within the next day. B-Priority letters, on the other hand, may take up to four days until they are delivered. Naturally, A-Priority letters are more expensive than B-Priority letters. Every time you send a letter you have to reassess how important the message and its speed of delivery are.

Now transfer that idea to a much larger ecosystem.

Let’s assume for a second you have to pay to get premium/fast access to the Interwebs. How does this affect with whom you communicate, what you communicate and whether you communicate at all? And to a more strategic extent: What is the role of ISPs in all of this? While lane differentiation might give service providers another revenue stream, they would also become some sort of ambivalent gatekeepers. To what extent would that impact the ISPs’ brand recognition?

Who is eligible to supervise net neutrality? Who keeps tabs on the controllers?