New York (NY) - On February 9, the third largest cable company in the United States, Cox Communications, will implement a new policy of Internet traffic routing which could bring Net Neutrality arguments front and center. Cox will begin showing preference on time sensitive data like websites, streaming videos and online games. Other content like downloads or software updates will be moved to the back of the line during times of congestion, slowing that content.
The concept of Net Neutrality dates back to the early days of the telephone service. The idea goes like this: anybody picking up a phone anywhere has just as much chance as the next person of their phone call getting through - regardless of who they are or how important the call is. Net Neutrality brings that concept to the Internet.
If two people, such as the President and average citizen John Doe, both try to access something online at the same time, the Net Neutrality-based Internet would feed data through on a first-come, first-served basis, rendering equally to all as best the available bandwidth allows. However, under Cox's new plan, if the same two people access something online, then depending on what it is they accessed, one or the other might get their content before the other one regardless of data availability from the server.
Cox will begin trial runs first in Arkansas and Kansas. If successful they will deploy to their full 4 million cable Internet subscriber base.
See the original AP article republished on Yahoo Tech.