In a big win for net neutrality campaigners, US President Barack Obama has come out in support of the idea that high-performing bandwidth should not only be available to the wealthy, and called for regulators and telcos to consider broadband an essential utility.
It seems like a no-brainer, but when it was revealed that Netflix has been taking up over 30% of North America's internet traffic in the busy hours, you can kind of see why telcos want to put a premium on massive-scale bandwidth use.
That said, charging for better access to the internet sets a dangerous precedent and can have serious ramifications for the control of information, which certain wily stock traders have demonstrated.
It came to a head when telcos decided to show Netflix just who really was boss, and Netflix decided to pay up.
But hopefully Obama's call for the Federal Communications Commission in the US to adhere to open internet principles will help, even if it won't iron out all the financial disagreements straight away:
Most Internet providers have treated Internet traffic equally. That's a principle known as "net neutrality" — and it says that an entrepreneur's fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations, and that access to a high school student's blog shouldn't be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money.
The White House also posted this video:
Hopefully the FCC will be able to get past such silly roadblocks as not placing broadband under the telecommunications umbrella, and giving it all the relevant protections. And even though it's US politics, it's a battle that's sure to resonate around the world. We're counting on you, FCC.