"Fast Lane" Proposed For Streaming Video - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

"Fast Lane" Proposed For Streaming Video

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SALISBURY, Md. - If you're like millions of Americans streaming videos online, simply logging on to catch your favorite shows or the latest movie could get a little complicated behind the scenes.

The FCC has proposed new "net neutrality" rules that may let Internet service providers charge content companies - like Hulu or Netflix - for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users.

"Make it faster? That'd be awesome. I'd like that," Matthew Hobbs said.

But, it could allow fierce competition between companies to see who can get to you fastest.

"I have to put it on, then go do something, then wait for it to load so that I can watch my show," Shannon Wiley said. "So it's just not very convenient right now."

The rules could get rid of all of that, creating what some call "fast lanes" on the information super-highway. And at the same time, it may set up pricing wars in the chain of delivery,
both in the video content market and among the Internet providers.

"It's going to be be too much of a competition that's going to cause some people to get great service and some people to get horrible service," said Thomas Best.

And there's another concern about how the streaming video companies will pay for the high-speed delivery.

"At some point, they are going to raise our prices as the customers," Wiley said.

And that, like most things in the entertainment industry, remains to be seen. The rules haven't been formally adopted just yet. The FCC will take several months collect public comments on the proposal, and then the final version may be modified based on the reaction.

The formal adoption is expected in the fall.

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