Boy Genius Report recently revealed that Amazon is working on something called Prime Data. Details are scarce due to Amazon's secrecy, but one reasonable speculation is that this plan will afford all Amazon Prime subscribers free mobile data access to Amazon apps from Amazon computers.

Here is the BGR story:

Let's assume this story is true. If it is, doesn't this violate the concept of net neutrality? Amazon will be providing its apps for free, while forms of data will be relegated to a second tier. 

In my opinion, this is exactly how the Internet should evolve. This innovation reveals how ecosystems are paradoxically becoming more fragmented and more integrated at the same time. Prime Data constitutes one more step towards AmazonNet -- a distinct Internet governed by Amazon -- while also creating a more integrated experience for Amazon customers. 

Moreover, let's remember that Amazon already has AWS, which powers a significant portion of what we regard as the Internet. This enables Amazon to more closely track all steps of the data transmission, which could lead to improved performance for users. The split architecture of the Amazon Silk browser is an example of one such innovation.

Consider how this may develop as we progress further in the blockchain era. Suppose Amazon can further reduce transmission costs for data in its realm (i.e. on AWS servers or on Kindle Fire computers) by leveraging blockchain technology so that Kindle Fire computers share their excess computing resources to help deliver and authenticate files. This is something Amazon might not be able to do at all with data that is outside of its ecosystem; it is an innovation borne out of Amazon's efforts at creating a deeply integrated ecosystem. Net neutrality could hinder the ability of the company to leverage such innovations -- innovations I think are consistent with the broader, paradoxical trend of simultaneous fragmentation and integration. 

This is why net neutrality is a flawed concept. The problem it seeks to solve is concentration of ISP power. The legitimacy of that problem is not being disputed here -- only the viability of net neutrality as a means to dispute it is. 
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