Sunday, June 24, 2007

Net Neutrality is upon us

What is Net Neutrality?

Well, right now what we have is net neutrality. What in means in a nutshell is that everyone pays the same fee for the same access to the same lines that make the web work. Anyone who wants to build a website can build one and be sure that it will load for most people most of the time. Small voices compete with large ones. Large voices have to compete with small ones. That is net neutrality.

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.

Save the Internet, FAQ

Well they own the lines don't they? Yes. Yes they do.

Imagine, though, that you were to apply for telephone service and find that you could not get such service because the telephone company executives do not like the business you run? Suppose that you could get service but it only works during non-business hours-- unless you want to pay $1,000 instead of $100? Suppose your connection is so rich with static that it is nearly usable-- unless, of course, you upgrade for hundreds of thousands of dollars?


Imagine that your CD player only played CDs produced by particular companies? That you had to buy your television according to which channels you want to watch? And color TV costs more?

Sit back and think through the consequences.

Save the Internet has a list of US Senators who support, and who do not support, Net Neutrality. As it stands, around twice as many Senators support Net Neutrality as oppose it. However, the stance of more than half of the Senate is currently unknown, as listed on the table referenced. That concerns me. I am old enough to remember a world without the internet, with the tremendous access to information that it provides. I do not feel like loosing that access. I do not feel like living in a world where access is restricted. It wouldn't be restricted by the government, as in China, but if we loose net neutrality it would be restricted nonetheless.

Among those listed as "Unknown" are both of my Senators for Colorado, Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO). I'll be contacting them both. I suggest you check the map, and contact your own Senators, or we may end up living in a world where information flow is dictated by the whims and the greed of a few executives.

Hat tip to "My view of 'It'"

Cross posted at Hell's Handmaiden.


D.R. Scott said...

Thank you for an insightful, well-written and timely post.

It's only because of a glorious accident of history that the Lords of The Bottom Line haven't dropped an ATM between us and our keyboards, but now they're trying to make up for lost time.

Lords of The Bottom line: Yeah! We'll make those unwashed spuds pay! With 35% interest! Hahahah!

Thank you for alerting us to the big-money corporate thieves picking the locks to our homes. We can't let them get their grimy fingerprints on our Macs and PCs. Let them know that the only way they can have our broadband is when they pry it from our cold dead fingers.

This is our house. Get the fuck out.