Saturday, July 07, 2007

8 Days Left To Save the Internet!


Net Neutrality, which is the principle that all content on the Internet should be accessed equally and without having to pay service providers extra money, is at stake.

In a nutshell, the future of all media is going toward the internet and big profit driven corporations such as Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner, to name a few, do not want to miss out on cashing in on this huge shift taking place right now, or as someone on the internet said, "they're afraid someone is going to spend a nickel and they're not going to get 4 cents of it." ...the way things seem to work more and more these days.

The pipes and the wires responsible for allowing us to enjoy the Internet in the comfort of our homes are the very same pipes and wires the networks and the cable companies have as well.

So, the main question is “Who provides the service?”

Will the internet become a centralized entity much like cable TV or phone service? In other words a 'vast wasteland'. Or will it remain decentralized and a valuable source of knowledge and venue for the free exchange of ideas. Will it remain a medium where diversity of thought and discourse flow freely without the interference of big business or big government?

We all know the internet is also full of infantile, vanity-driven garbage which makes it difficult to evaluate or discriminate between what's good or bad, to separate the wheat from the chaff, but the answer is not to hand it over to big business...that will guarantee all of the content on the Internet will be nothing but trash!

As Harold Feld, MAP (Media Access Projects)'s Senior Vice President, said,

"The FTC explicitly sidesteps what should be the central issue in our Network Neutrality policy debate: What will happen to the current vibrant civic and political discussions on the Internet if the cable and phone companies get to decide which speakers deserve faster speed? The Supreme Court has called the Internet a medium ‘as diverse as human thought.’ Without Network Neutrality, it threatens to follow the path of radio, television and cable and become instead a ‘vast wasteland’ where the ability to pay vast sums for premium treatment trumps the power of ideas."

The problem with the Federal Trade Commission’s new report on Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy is that now instead of the internet being an open source of information, thought, and political discourse, these greedy companies will get to discriminate content for us and who gets online, who gets to use their services and at what speed. The Gatekeepers (large corporations) will stifle innovations, as well as many other components important to leveling the playing field, which is now contributing to cultivating a grassroots revival of public participation in political life.

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