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This just in from Slashdot- a potentially grim development for those providing their patrons with free Web access:
\"A Norwegian newssite (digitoday.no) has a story . . . about a Swedish company\'s filter-system which enable content-delivery sites to differentiate between different ISP\'s. This means that the ISP has to pay a fee to the site in order to enable the site\'s content to the ISP\'s users. Another story (also norwegian) discusses the implications of this. They report that the swedish company (Tric AB) will \"act as a third party between ISP\'s and content-suppliers with the intent to let the content-suppliers get a share of the access-income. It will act as a clearinghouse where the income from the ISP\'s is distributed to different content-suppliers in relation to size and traffic\". According to a swedish newssite (Ekonomi24.se), Tric has already gathered the largest content-suppliers in Sweden and they are already in discussions with the large ISP and telecoms in Sweden (Telia, Tele2 etc.) which are positive to this. The background for this initiative is the problem of financing the content on the Internet. So far it\'s all been advertising and subsidising from other parts of the companies, now it will be the up to the ISP and telecom-companies to share the income with other actors. This would also be the death of smaller ISP\'s that feed off the free structure of the net, given that this model is applied to the entire net. And not to forget the new business created: clearinghouses. We were just waiting for another level of complicity.\" Either your ISP pays a fee to the content provider (raising your access fees, of course), or the provider blocks access to itself from all of your ISP\'s users and you have to deal with their complaints. We\'ll probably see this in the U.S. soon, as the next stage in the media consolidation.\"
Scroll down to about the 1/2 way mark on the page to find this article and a link to the 100+ outraged responses. Thanks to Metafilter.