The UK government, including communications minister Ed Vaizey, have given their tacit backing to Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to ‘tier’ their delivery of web content, a move which has disappointed many ‘net neutrality’ advocates.
If implemented, the new ‘tiered’ system will give ISP’s the freedom to prioritise certain content, and ‘fast track’ the delivery of the content, whilst those seen as being of lesser importance would be delivered at a slower speed.
Mr Vaizey said “A lightly regulated internet is good for business, good for the economy, and good for people’ and also went on to praise how well the internet has helped innovation in the UK. The only rule with this new system would be that ISP’s publically publish their traffic management policies, and that all legal websites and services are accessible.
Vaizey also said that competition is strong enough between ISP’s that it will still provide them with plenty of options. However, supporters of the ‘net neutrality’ campaign however believe that with ISP’s prioritising content will reduce innovation, and be unfair on many as site owners will be given slower internet access if they are not seen as being priority.
On first glance of these proposals, I personally believe that there is a lot of potential for an unfair gulf in internet delivery speeds between the largest corporations and new upstart businesses, and there will have to be some solid regulation to stop this from happening.
Either way, we will be keeping an eye on developments on the subject and will be sure to check how ‘priority’ small-medium enterprises are if this new system is implemented, particularly those offering web design and development.