The Internet is, and should, remain
a level playing field for everyone. But
if telecoms have their way, they will be
able to control what people see and do online.
You may not be aware of it, but US Politicians
are being lobbied real hard by telecom firms
to reject the principle of Net Neutrality
-- that there should not be any tolls on
Telecom companies want to be allowed to
start charging tolls and they reject the
idea that the Internet should be "neutral,
fair and free."
Speaking at a conference in late May, web
creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee warned that
the net faced entering a "dark period"
if access suppliers were allowed to choose
which traffic to prioritise.
If telecoms win this battle, it means that
small firms, like yours truly, will not
be able to compete with larger sites: to
be allowed to provide large bandwidth photos
in their original sizes, we'll have to pay
the telecoms to cruise on the fast lane
-- or else be relegated to the slow lanes
[and slow downloads].
You [as we] already pay for Internet access
(fast or slow, depending on your connection
package), but now as a business, we will
also have to pay an extra toll to allow
you to access our site.
It's time to write your senators and sound
off on the importance of Net Neutrality
-- that telecoms should not be given the
right to play favorites among different
web sites. They should not be allowed to
control which sites you visit and how you
The Internet is, and should, remain a level
playing field for everyone.
Think about it this way. Whether you use
your phone to call a friend for a friendly
chat or to place a multi million-dollar
order with Company A, the phone company
does not charge Company A for that phone
call. That's how the Internet works today.
But the telecoms want to change that and
be allowed to charge Company A and get a
cut of that deal. It evokes images of once
"Highway Robbers" blocking the
way of a stagecoach on the road to town,
and demanding to be paid to allow it to
continue on its journey.
Net Neutrality is an important principle
that has made the Internet what it is today.
Imagine signing onto the Internet and finding
that access to your favorite sites have
been barred by the telecoms. Not only are
they charging for you to access the Internet,
they now want to control what you can see:
If I don't pay up, Photoxels will be as
good as invisible to you. Or if I can't
pay for premium visibility, you'll only
be able to download pictures in the slow
lane [even though you -- and I -- already
paid for fast access].
Vinton Cerf, a co-inventor of the Internet
Protocol (IP), said it probably the most
succintly: "allowing broadband carriers
to control what people see and do online
would fundamentally undermine the principles
that have made the Internet such a success."
Net neutrality in the common carrier sense
has been instantiated into law in many countries,
including the United Kingdom, South Korea,
There are many dumb ideas [and people]
in the world, and rejecting Net Neutrality
out of greed ranks among one of the dumbest
The Debate @ Net Neutrality:
For [a free Internet] - Craig
Newmark of craiglist.org
Against [on telecoms side] - Mike
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