Net Neutrality A Reality?

What is Net Neutrality and why should everyone care?  It's the basic concept that data should get from where it starts to where it's going without any discrimination based on the type of data or its content.  But how does a non-neutral 'net impact you?

In short, it limits your options to potentially be 'wowed' by new technologies and services before they can even get a foothold.  For instance, Comcast has set up throttles for BitTorrent traffic that more or less kill BT traffic except in a few cases such as World Of Warcraft patchers.  So companies that rely on BT to distribute legitimate video content might never make it to a consumer's PC, if they use Comcast.  Of course this protects Comcast's cable service business, but it doesn't serve the consumer, and that's where a new law might come into play.

“The bill says it is U.S. policy to "guard against unreasonable discriminatory favoritism for, or degredation of, content by network operators based upon its source, ownership, or destination on the Internet."

The bill would also require the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to open a proceeding on broadband services and consumer rights. The FCC would be required to investigate whether broadband providers have adhered to its August 2005 policy that providers should refrain from blocking or interfering with Web content.”

We'll be sure to follow this story closely as the benefits of a completely neutral interent are virtually limitless.