WASHINGTON D.C. – The good times may be coming to an end for internet giants like Google and Netflix. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia has decided that broadband providers can charge higher fees for companies that use more content.
Before the decision, companies like Verizon or Comcast, who own the wires your internet connection comes from, had to give equal access to all online content providers, whether it was you uploading a home video to YouTube, or media giants like Netflix who accounts for 32% of internet traffic in North America alone.
Now web providers have the option of making those high-content users pay-up, or limit the amount of space they can use.
“I think that anybody that’s going to end up getting more out of it should pay more for it,” Houstonian Gary Peel said when he learned about the ruling. “You know, I’m just a small consumer and so I don’t think I should be paying more of a rate than somebody that’s making millions of dollars and getting a cut-rate deals out of it.”
The down side is this: if companies like Amazon and Netflix are required to pay higher service fees in order to deliver their products to us, odds are, we’ll end up paying more on the backside. It’s called supply and demand.
“I don’t know if I would like to pay more for the service I’m getting,” Netflix customer Paloma Palafox said when we put the question to her.
“I think they’re lucky to have an audience,” Molly Jodeit countered. “The customer has the power; if they don’t like it, they don’t use it.”
The FCC says it may appeal the ruling. And with millions at stake from both internet giants and service providers, you can bet we haven’t heard the end of this one just yet.