On Tuesday, the FCC approved net neutrality rules intended to keep Internet providers in check when regulating legitimate and legal content.
Hold on. We can totally read your minds. You've been hearing and seeing this gobbledygook all day long. "Enough of the geekspeak, CultureMap! Tell us exactly what's happening!"
In a word? Gone.
Gone are the days of unmitigated Internet fun. Going, going, gone are the freedoms you currently know and love while traipsing the interwebs. In fact, it's about to get greedy up in here, as the Internet prepares to fall victim to one of man's greatest evils — money.
Yes, money. The Daily Beast agrees that Internet service providers are the big — and possibly the only — winners after today's FCC ruling.
Why? Because the FCC's new provisions allow carriers to create Internet "fast lanes." For a pretty penny, that is. Carriers want to make bank from charging corporations to surf the web via faster connections. At a price tag only companies are likely able to afford, mind you.
"But what about us, the lowly consumers?" you ask. Well, average Joe, high-speed connectivity can be yours, too — but it's gonna cost you. And if you're not willing to fork out the extra money to pay for it, then you'll be relegated to the slow lane. While those with the cash flow zoom around the World Wide Web like you were once able to do.
Think Atari vs. PlayStation 3. Satellite TV vs. rabbit-ear antennas. Rich vs. poor. Technological relics vs. cutting-edge technology. Corporate Internet vs. consumer Internet. They're all becoming one in the same.
Today, a digital divide manifested itself as a definitive line in the sand. The virtual world just got very, very real.
Stay tuned, cyber citizens. You haven't seen the last of the FCC game-changing rulings yet.