Peering pressure: The secret battle to control the future of the internet


There is a fierce battle going on to control the future of the internet, and consumers are the innocent bystanders.

Reports have been filtering in during the last few days that consumers on Verizon (s vz) and Time Warner Cable’s (s twc) network are experiencing degraded service when they try to watch Netflix or YouTube videos. It may seem trite to whine about someone’s Arrested Development episode buffering, but the real issue is how big ISPs are trying to remake the agreements that underpin how the internet works.

As they do so, they are taking agreements that used to be negotiated by engineers based on web traffic and changing them into disputes negotiated behind closed doors in boardrooms, executives fighting over who has access to the end consumer. This could fundamentally change the way the internet works — making it more expensive to do business and erecting unnecessary barriers…

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