Many have predicted this type of event coming for years, but with an upcoming deal that is in the works between Google and Verizon, it is possible that the equilibrium that has existed on the internet for as long as it has been around will be shifted forever. This effects all who use the internet, whether you are an internet marketing agency, a website development firm or a casual web surfer.
Up until now, everything on the internet has loaded at the same speed. It has never mattered how much of a major player any website was, the content would load at the same rate as that of a minor website. This is what allowed independent sites and internet entrepreneurs to compete with industry giants online. This will change if companies are allowed to make their content load faster.
A decision that was made by the FCC during the Bush presidency has left an FCC who does not have the authority to make rulings on ISPs (like Verizon.). The current Chairman of the FCC has demonstrated his unwillingness to assert his authority on these issues, and has preferred to stay out of the public view on this issue. Congress is strongly influenced by the telecom industry, which when combined with the influence that mighty Google wields, means a very strong influence exerted on Capitol Hill by those wishing for this deal to go through.
If the internet becomes a non neutral entity, it will instead become a playing field very similar to that of cable television. This is a much larger problem than many people realize, because of the number of other services that are going to be delivered through the internet in the future. Because TV, phone services, and radio will all be delivered over the net in the future, a deal of this kind would end the endless possibility the internet has presented up to now, where anyone could start these kinds of sites.
This is a perfect example of how big industry has been able to hold the government hostage to their policy making time and again. There are still some people on the Hill who are devoted to trying to maintain net neutrality. Although they are outnumbered, people like Nancy Pelosi, Jay Rockefeller, Jay Inslee, Henry Waxman, and Harry Reid continue to battle for an even playing field online. The truth is that now it will be up to America to exert pressure on the government to let them know that the public will not and cannot stand for an internet where money will be the primary factor in how fast content can make its way to the internet user.