With the year coming to a close we decided to take a look back at how the Boston startup community did. It was another awesome year for the community and the numbers definitely echo that sentiment. We’d like to extend a big congratulations to the companies that went public or were acquired in 2014 and here’s to a great 2015!
Net Neutrality has been all over the news lately and I’ve been fielding a couple of questions related to it. At Setfive, we think it’s a critically important issue, both to startups and the technology infrastructure of the United States as a whole. Because of that, we decided to pull together an overview, some history, and key outcomes surrounding the Net Neutrality debate. As always, questions or comments welcome!
What is Net Neutrality?
First coined by Columbia Law professor Tim Wu, network neutrality, or net neutrality for short, states that internet service providers (such as Verizon and Comcast) and governments should provide you with access to content and data regardless of where it came from equally. Internet service providers (ISPs) are not allowed to discriminate and slow speeds for one company in favor of its competitor.
Essentially, net neutrality maintains a free, open, and fair internet.
The Lead Up To January 14, 2014
- In 2002, the FCC had the opportunity to regulate ISPs as it had done for the phone companies. Ultimately though, the FCC chose not to at all citing that ISPs are “information services”, completely different than the telecommunication services phone companies provide.
- However a few years later, the FCC began to notice the enormous power and strength that ISPs had accumulated over the years. In an attempt to curb and regulate them, the FCC created the Open Internet Rules in 2010
The Open Internet Rules established:
- Enforced transparency of ISPs operations and management of their networks
- Prohibited ISPs from obstructing access to legal content and applications
- Maintained an equal and fair playing field online by preventing ISPs from giving preference to one company over another. Essentially becoming the core of net neutrality
In response to these rules, Verizon brought the FCC to court in 2013 on the charge that the agency had no authority to use the Open Internet rules to regulate ISPs.
Fast forward to January 14, 2014
- On this day, a DC circuit court determined in the Verizon Communications Inc. vs FCC case that portions of the Open Internet Rules especially the ones pertaining to an equal and fair internet could not be applied to ISPs.
- The reasoning was that portions of the rules apply only to common carriers, which provide telecommunication services. But since ISPs are classified by the FCC as providers of information services, they’re not considered under the law as common carriers.
What does this ruling mean?
It eliminated the only existing rules protecting net neutrality. As a result, ISPs can now:
- Charge companies fees for “premium” access to their consumers. Think Verizon charging Netflix to stream to their customers at better rates.
- Selectively prioritize one source of traffic over another. Think Comcast prioritizing delivering its Xfinity onDemand service over HBO Go.
- And of course, create “slow lanes” and “fast lanes” paving the way to charging for ala carte Internet packages, just like TV. Imagine seeing errors like: “Sorry! You need to subscribe to the ‘social package’ to access this site.”
What’s the president’s stance on all this?
He’s pro net neutrality and has urged the FCC to establish strong rules that would protect it. However since the FCC is an independent government agency, Obama has no direct influence. Additionally, in a bitterly divided congress some hardline Republicans are taking an anti-Net Neutrality stance to pander to their base. See The Oatmeal on Ted Cruz.
The FCC does have the power to reclassify ISPs as telecommunication service providers and thus subject them to the Open Internet Rules. What it decided to do instead is to create a new net neutrality framework that would hold up in court while at the same time satisfy both sides.
Right now, everyone is in a holding pattern waiting for the FCC to make a final announcement.
Posted In: General
Tags: Net Neutrality
Last week, I was catching up with some friends when one of them asked an interesting question – Which Boston area companies are currently hiring PHP developers? Surprisingly, I didn’t really have a good answer so I decided to find out. To figure this out, I searched job posts that were specifically looking for PHP developers and started pulling together a spreadsheet about the posts. As I was looking at the data, I decided to put together a graphic which is available below along with the list of companies. As always, questions or comments welcome!
|ADTRAN||Burlington||Allen & Gerritsen||Boston|
|Allen & Gerritsen||Boston||Applause||Framingham|
|Arbor Networks||Burlington||Berklee College Of Music||Boston|
|Berklee College Of Music||Boston||Biogen Idec||Cambridge|
|Biogen Idec||Cambridge||Black Duck Software||Burlington|
|Black Duck Software||Burlington||Blue State Digital||Boston|
|Blue State Digital||Boston||Brafton Inc.||Boston|
|Brafton Inc.||Boston||Brigham And Women’s Hospital||Wellesley|
|Brigham And Women’s Hospital||Wellesley||Brightcove||Boston|
|Desire2Learn (D2L)||Boston||Dew Softech (contract Position)||Boston|
|Dew Softech (contract Position)||Boston||Digital Bungalow||Salem|
|Flipkey, Inc.||Boston||Genscape, Inc.||Boston|
|Genscape, Inc.||Boston||Harvard Medical School||Boston|
|Harvard Medical School||Boston||Harvard School Of Public Health||Boston|
|Harvard School Of Public Health||Boston||Hill Holliday||Boston|
|Hill Holliday||Boston||Hubspot, Inc.||Cambridge|
|Hubspot, Inc.||Cambridge||Integrated Computer Solutions||Bedford|
|Integrated Computer Solutions||Bedford||Intersystems||Cambridge|
|Modo Labs||Cambridge||Motus (crs)||Boston|
|Northeastern University||Boston||Northpoint Digital||Boston|
|Polar Design||Woburn||Sevone, Inc.||Boston|
|Smartertravel.com||Boston||Source Of Future Technology, Inc.||Cambridge|
|Source Of Future Technology, Inc.||Cambridge||Studypoint||Boston|
|Surfmerchants LLC||Boston||Tatto Media||Boston|
|Tatto Media||Boston||Tufts University||Boston|
|Tufts University||Boston||Umass Boston||Boston|
Posted In: General