Limiting Net Neutrality is a threat to Internet innovation

Siavash Alamouti, President & CEO at mimik

siavash alamouti

Open internet has come under attack. FCC’s recent decision to roll back net neutrality protections makes communications networks in the US more vulnerable to abuse. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can control the content and applications used on the internet, endangering the web as an open platform to access and share information for everyone, everywhere. Equal treatment of all internet traffic has enabled pioneering ideas to thrive with new often disruptive products and services.

The absence of net neutrality implies ISPs can restructure how the Internet works. They would own the internet by controlling the applications and content that run over their networks. They would have the power to decide what content runs over “their” networks and give preference to one content over another. Developers would be at the mercy of those who control the communication networks. All our products especially new innovative products would become subject to discrimination. We could be faced with a paradigm shift where those who pay more could get priority for their applications.  Without net neutrality, developers could lose their freedom to innovate and people could lose their freedom of choice.

As Tim Berners-Lee has rightly pointed out: “If US net neutrality rules are repealed, future innovators will have to first negotiate with each ISP to get their new product onto an internet package. That means no more permission-less space for innovation. ISPs will have the power to decide which websites you can access and at what speed each will load. In other words, they’ll be able to decide which companies succeed online, which voices are heard — and which are silenced.”

It is contradictory to limit the free exchange of data in a world where the free flow of information on the internet has been a hallmark of democracy and has distinguished democracies from totalitarian systems. As we prepare for the age of Internet of Things and 5G, our hyper-connected world with smarter and faster networks needs less gatekeepers and more power for the users, not vice versa.

At mimik, we are troubled with FCC’s attack against net neutrality. We have been working passionately to decentralize cloud computing and communications to ensure digital freedom for all. FCC’s recent decision encourages us to work even harder to achieve our goal. Our technology will arm developers with a platform to unleash the collective power of all computing devices whether mobile phones or powerful central cloud servers and remove all unnecessary trust elements and middlemen.

Net neutrality is the cornerstone of digital freedom as it has kept communication pipes open to innovation and uninhibited development of new applications, content and services. It has provided an open ecosystem where developers build innovative and disruptive products without being blocked or throttled. To ensure continued progress towards digital freedom, we must decentralize the cloud and create a scalable and more efficient cloud fabric devoid of unnecessary gatekeepers and trust elements. Decentralization is the most organic and effective way of ensuring net neutrality. We call on all developers to join us in building a decentralized Internet that is more open,  private and efficient and less vulnerable to abuse by gatekeepers and middlemen.