It’s a great week on the internet! This week in web performance the preservation of net neutrality and new announcements from Google and Apple make headlines.


FCC votes to preserve net neutrality, classifying broadband as a utility

Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to approve the proposed net neutrality rules for both wireless and fixed broadband. The proposed rules will disallow paid prioritization, as well as the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. After overwhelming public outcry, this win for advocates of net neutrality is being called “the free speech victory of our times” and “an even bigger win than SOPA”. But the debate looks to be far from over.

Response from Verizon came in both morse code and typewriter font saying the rules were “written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph. In addition, a group of 21 republicans sent a response to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler threatening legislation that would “ensure the antitrust laws are the preferred enforcement method against anticompetitive conduct on the Internet” and that “may include a restriction on the FCC’s ability to regulate the Internet.”

Apple to spend $1.9 Billion on European data centers powered by renewable energy

In what will be Apple’s biggest investment in Europe to date, Apple announced plans to build and operate two new data centers in Denmark and Ireland. Running entirely on renewable energy, the data centers will power several of Apple’s online services for European customers, including the iTunes Store®, App Store℠, iMessage®, Maps and Siri®. The operations are expected to launch in 2017 and will include initiatives to restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest, provide an outdoor education space for local schools, and create a walking trail for the community. “We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives.

Apple releases new Playgrounds

The new Xcode 6.3 beta 2 now contains improvements to Swift playgrounds, with inline results, stylized text, and a resources folder. The new playgrounds were made to be useful for authors and educators.

Google introduces a new open source HTTP/2 RPC Framework

Google has introduced a new open source (BSD-licensed) cross-platform library for making remote procedure calls. Built on the recently finalized HTTP/2 specification, gRPC will allow for bidirectional streaming, flow control, header compression, multiplexing requests over a single TCP connection and more. In addition to gRPC, Google has released a new version of Protocol Buffers, an open source binary serialization protocol intended to allow easy definition of services and automatic generation of client libraries. The project has support for several different programming languages (C, C++, Java, Go, Node.js, Python, and Ruby) with libraries for several others (Objective-C, PHP and C#) in development. Google indicated that they have begun to use gRPC internally in order to begin transitioning to HTTP/2.

A look ahead: Barcelona will host Mobile World Congress

The first week of March brings along the exciting 2015 Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain. The four day event is like the Ted Talks of mobile tech, with thought-leadership keynotes from Mark Zuckerberg and Tom Wheeler, numerous panel discussions, and 1900 technology and product exhibitors. The event will feature the Global Mobile Awards, and App Planet, an opportunity for the mobile app community to come together to learn and network. In addition, all attendees will gain access to 4 Years From Now, a 3 day event focused on startups and corporations, led by globally recognized entrepreneurship and innovation experts.

Other headlines this week: