It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
As things stand now, the telecoms provide the lines -- copper, cable or fiber-optic -- and the other hardware that connects Web sites to consumers.
But they don't influence, or profit from, the content that flows to you from, say, cinemanow.com; they simply supply the pipelines. In effect, they are impartial middlemen, leaving you free to browse the entire Internet without worrying about connection speeds to your favorite sites.
That looks set to change. In April a House subcommittee rejected a measure by Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts (D) that would have prevented telecoms from charging Web sites extra fees based on bandwidth usage.
The telecom industry sees such remuneration as fair compensation for the substantial cost of maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure that makes high-bandwidth services, such as streaming video, possible.
What does this mean for the rest of us? A stealth Web tax, for one thing.
"Google and Amazon and Yahoo are not going to slice those payments out of their profit margins and eat them," says Ben Scott, policy director for Free Press, a nonprofit group that monitors media-related legislation. "They're going to pass them on to the consumer. So I'll end up paying twice. I'm going to pay my $29.99 a month for access, and then I'm going to pay higher prices for consumer goods all across the economy because these Internet companies will charge more for online advertising."
Worse still, Scott argues, the plan stands to sour your Web experience. If, for instance, your favorite blogger refused to ante up, her pages would load more slowly on your computer than would content from Web sites that had paid the fees.
Originally posted by specter_smoke
Dam, I'll never pay that garbage. I hope the "slow lane" users won't have too slow a connection.
Originally posted by The_Time_is_now
If this were to happen, do you think ATS would be able to pay, or would they start charging and taking donations?