Network Neutrality

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics on

I have a couple posts to attend to tonight. Since this topic is fresh on my mind, it’ll go first.

Do you want Internet Service Providers like Cox Cable, AT&T, and others to control where you can go on the Internet? Neither do I. That’s what opponents of network neutrality want, though. Or at least, something like that, once you’ve wiped away the hype. Maybe it’s not in the plans currently, but it could happen. Imagine some greedy executive declaring that users will no longer be able to access their competitor’s website. Or, that such an executive says that users who want to visit video-heavy websites like YouTube will have to pay extra to visit those websites, because they incur more bandwidth than, say, visiting this website.

A couple days ago, the House passed a new bill that enforced the FCCs version of the Four Freedoms:

1. Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;
2. Consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement;
3. Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; and
4. Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

However, an amendment to the bill by Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts that would have stopped tiered Internet access (see my YouTube example above) was defeated, making this bill just about as effective as the provision in the Bush-backed immigration bill recently passed that defined English as our “common and unifying language.”

“So, what?” you say. “Shouldn’t the ISPs have freedom to do what they want?” Well, sure, but not when it affects their customers. We are the ones paying them, and I’m sure the American public doesn’t want a tiering system. I don’t. Why should I pay more to access YouTube or services like it? I’m already paying to access the Internet, and the majority of big-time ventures these days are paid, after the Internet bubble burst. The opponents of Net Neutrality say that they’d be barred from innovating. (1).

BS…innovations have been done for years without the worried of a tiered system, or ISPs deciding what we should be able to access? What I agree with is that I don’t want content that is non-harmful to be barred. That’s against first amendment rights. What I don’t want is so greedy company deciding they’ll charge more for access to certain websites. That’s what most who access the Internet want: easy access to the Internet, without delays or having to pay more to access sites that are already free.

So, with that out of the way, I’ll let you decide you opinions on this matter. First, because it’s my website, I’ll include the links I agree with:
http://civic.moveon.org/save_the_internet/
http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet
http://www.savetheinternet.com/=threat

But, because I’m so freaking nice, I’ll let you read all the arguments:
http://handsoff.org/
http://handsoff.org/hoti_docs/lettermill/

Happy deciding, and please, either way, take some action.

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