Net Neutrality

Remember how wireless carriers try to screw you left and right? Want to send one txt message over your limit? That’ll be $1 per message. Thanks! Want to block that creepy guy who keeps calling you thinking your his sister? That’ll be $5 per month. Thanks! Want to roam outside of your network? That’ll be $10 per second or kilobyte. Thanks!

Well, now get ready for that same fun times 100 with your mobile internet. Today the FCC passed new rules governing Net Neutrality, the idea that data shouldn’t be discriminated against on the internet. This blog, the NY Times, Netflix and Google all operate on a level playing field. We don’t have to pay off internet service providers to get our internet content to your computer. The FCC’s new rules will disallow that sort of discrimination on wired networks (cable, DSL, modem) but allow it on wireless networks (think 3G access on your phone) as part of a grand compromise between companies looking to nickel and dime us.

This might be the future awaiting us:

The companies, Allot Communications and Openet — suppliers to large wireless companies including AT&T and Verizon — showed off a new product in a web seminar Tuesday, which included a PowerPoint presentation (1.5-MB .pdf) that was sent to Wired by a trusted source.

The idea? Make it possible for your wireless provider to monitor everything you do online and charge you extra for using Facebook, Skype or Netflix. For instance, in the seventh slide of the above PowerPoint, a Vodafone user would be charged two cents per MB for using Facebook, three euros a month to use Skype and $0.50 monthly for a speed-limited version of YouTube. But traffic to Vodafone’s services would be free, allowing the mobile carrier to create video services that could undercut NetFlix on price.