VIP Internet Service

What would a multitiered internet system mean to you?
  • ---Shares
This story appears in the May 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Free Webinar | August 16th

Find out how to optimize your website to give your customers experiences that will have the biggest ROI for your business. Register Now »

Currently, all internet traffic is treated in the same way, whether it's a web page from Google or a page from a small bakery in Wisconsin. It's the concept of net neutrality in action. No bits of data have priority. But some changes that have occurred over the past year may make net neutrality a thing of the past. Cable and DSL broadband network providers are considering creating a multitiered internet. For example, a company could pay a broadband provider to have its offerings load faster than others. Some broadband providers see a multitiered internet as a way to help cover their investment in high-speed broadband infrastructure.

This is something that entrepreneurs should keep an eye on. It especially concerns businesses that work with bandwidth-intensive multimedia or streaming video services over the web.

Established companies may be able to afford the faster top tier, but startups and growing businesses could find themselves in an awkward position. "The little guys who want to make a name for themselves are going to be at a disadvantage," says Gigi B. Sohn, president of advocacy group Public Knowledge.

Large internet companies like Amazon.com and Google have come out in favor of net neutrality. There have been rumblings in Congress concerning this issue, with several bills floating around that address it to various degrees. "What the advocates of net neutrality want is essentially the internet of today," says Sohn. Nothing had made it into law as of press time.

Edition: July 2017

Get the Magazine

Limited-Time Offer: 1 Year Print + Digital Edition and 2 Gifts only $9.99
Subscribe Now
OK

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how our website and related online services are being used. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our cookie collection. More information about how we collect cookies is found here.