ore I read about net neutrality, the more it’s a no brainer. At the same time telecom, cable and high-speed providers are doing everything they can to get a two tier Internet going. One that gives preferred access to web sites that pay and a lesser access to those who don’t.
Imagine if we had private highways. We’d sell the Interstate to those with the big bucks. Those unable to pay or who had not budgeted for Internet access in their business plan we’d limit to two lane highways and county roads.
This is exactly what telecom, cable and high-speed providers have been lobbying for below the radar screen over the last year. And money talks. Per Lawrence Lessig,
After just barely squeezing a victory in the House Judiciary Committee last week, the press is on now for the vote on the floor. The Congress Daily (which can’t be linked to) estimates about a $1 million per week is being spent on ads by telecom and cable companies to fight neutrality legislation.
Even my former Wisconsin Congressman, Ron Kind, a pretty good guy I personally know and previously supported, took the bucks from the telecoms and voted in their favor.
We can hand Internet control to the large telecom, cable and high-speed companies or we can keep it the way it is. The choice is ours, literally. Bloggers have huge clout. If my readers email their Senator or Congressperson and spreads the word to do the same to their blog’s readers, that’s more than trivial. Imagine bloggers from coast to coast doing the same.
As Bob Ambrogi, a pioneer of law on the Internet, says even asking whether the net should be neutral suggests its absurdity.
From Ambrogi, here’s blog writer Cory Doctorow on the telecom position:
Phone and cable companies are looking for the right to charge popular Internet sites like Google and Yahoo to carry data to customers. The big Internet companies, they argue, are getting a free ride, using lots of bandwidth to get to customers and not paying a fair price for it. This will only get worse, they say, as multimedia content becomes more popular, demanding more bandwidth.
And Ambrogi on the response:
Doctorow, who writes the blog Boing Boing, calls their argument ‘rubbish,’ and any number of commentators agree, including Daniel Weitzner, John Doerr and Reed Hastings, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, eBay CEO Meg Whitman and Rockboom host Amanda Congdon.
As Justin Patten at Human blog puts it:
Do you really think that the telecoms industry is going to run this in a way which does not threatens the open model of the internet? Broadband providers will become gatekeepers to the web’s content and it appears it will not be open as before.
Let’s get with it guys. Lawyers framed this countries right to free speech. It’s time to take a stand again. Heck, even Patten from the mother country of England is supporting us on this one.
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