Culture minister Ed Vaizey has backed a "two-speed" internet, letting service providers charge content makers and customers for "fast lane" access.
It paves the way for an end to "net neutrality" - with heavy bandwidth users like Google and the BBC likely to face a bill for the pipes they use.
Mr Vaizey said ISPs must be free to experiment with new charges to help pay for the expansion in internet services.
But critics warn the move could harm free speech and stifle innovation.
brotherhood of LAN
4:13 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
I'd just read that...
Hard to believe that these very ministers complain about lack of investment in broadband for rural areas, complaining of an information divide in society, yet want to 'tier' the availability of sites to everyone.
4:36 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
Exactly! It's only going to make things worse for those that either can't pay because they cannot afford it, or they live in the countryside with poor net connections.
[edited by: engine at 6:01 pm (utc) on Nov 17, 2010]
11:43 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
Wait until the BBC has a think about this. Presumably this would affect their iPlayer (and other similar TV services). The BBC is barred from charging UK customers for such services so without net neutrality, service providers will be able to profit from carrying BBC services when the BBC itself cannot - now there's a can of worms if I've ever seen one.
I wouldn't worry too much about Ed Vaizey - he's a doughnut. The time to worry is if Ofcom backs an end to net neutrality - then it might happen.