Friday, June 09, 2006

Net Neutrality: Don't Sleep!

Net neutrality means that you and I should get the same treatment from cable and phone companies for use of their broadband, high-speed Internet lines as big corporations.

In the nutshell, television and cable companies led by AT&T, Comcast and Verizon want to charge a toll to use the Internet and create different tiers of online service. If you dont' have money for the "express lane" on the internet, get ready for the "dirt road." In other words, the big boys want the Internet to look like cable television. Think about how easy it was starting your blog versus getting your content on cable.

To "beat it over your head" even more, here is a quote from The Washington Post:

Their idea is to stand between the content provider and the consumer, demanding a toll to guarantee quality delivery. It's what Timothy Wu, an Internet policy expert at Columbia University, calls "the Tony Soprano business model": By extorting protection money from every Web site -- from the smallest blogger to Google -- network owners would earn huge profits. Meanwhile, they could slow or even block the Web sites and services of their competitors or those who refuse to pay up. They'd like Congress to "trust them" to behave.

Without net neutrality, the Internet would start to look like cable TV. A handful of massive companies would control access and distribution of content, deciding what you get to see and how much it costs.

I've been hearing rumblings about this for a while and yesterday, Barack Obama did a brief podcast about it. An excerpt from his Senate web page:

"It is because the Internet is a neutral platform that I can put out this podcast and transmit it over the Internet without having to go through any corporate media middleman. I can say what I want without censorship or without having to pay a special charge.

But the big telephone and cable companies want to change the Internet as we know it. They say that they want to create high speed lanes on the Internet and strike exclusive contractual agreements with Internet content providers for access to those high speed lanes.

Everyone who cannot pony up the cash will be relegated to the slow lanes."

You can click here at Save the to send your message to Washington, stay informed on developments and get tags for your blog. In fact, check it out even if you don't have a blog!

This CNN article talks about the strange bedfellows that have come together to kill this dangerous bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska.) On the side of sanity and anti-greed, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has sponsored a bill with Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) supporting Internet freedom. Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) have teamed up on a bill that requires phone and cable broadband companies to give non-affiliated content producers (read: the little guy - and gal) equal opportunity to reach consumers and to refrain from interfering with content choice.

You can also click this link to contact your Congress person to let them know that you've got enough bills and you're not trying to pay corporations for the privilege of controlling your content or access!


Blogger Juicy77 said...

This is the ish that makes people start rioting and setting things on fire. Not that I'm making any suggestions. *wink wink*

June 11, 2006 at 3:33 AM  
Blogger Nichelle said...


Let's just hope that people stick to emailing their rep in congress or their senator!

June 11, 2006 at 6:12 PM  

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