When we log onto the Internet, we take a lot for granted. We assume we'll be able to access any Web site we want, whenever we want, at the fastest speed, whether it's a corporate or mom-and-pop site. We assume that we can use any service we like -- watching online video, listening to podcasts, sending instant messages -- anytime we choose. What makes all these assumptions possible is Net Neutrality.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet.
Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers may not discriminate between different kinds of content and applications online. It guarantees a level playing field for all Web sites and Internet technologies.
Net Neutrality is the reason the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation and free speech online. It protects the consumer's right to use any equipment, content, application or service without interference from the network provider. With Net Neutrality, the network's only job is to move data -- not to choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.
Who wants to get rid of Net Neutrality?
The nation's largest telephone and cable companies -- including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable -- want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.
They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. And they want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services and streaming video -- while slowing down or blocking services offered by their competitors.
These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of a level playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services -- or those of big corporations that can afford the steep tolls -- and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.
The big phone and cable companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to gut Net Neutrality, putting the future of the Internet at risk.
The Internet could soon be headed for some big changes. You could have restricted access to some of your favorite websites like YouTube and Hulu.
Each month some big company charges you a fee for using the Internet. These companies collect piles of money from you, and all the other subscribers, year in and year out. Apparently, it's not enough.
These Internet service providers have begun the greed-driven process of trying collect even more. This time, the bill is going to the people who put stuff on the Internet.
Right now you can use an unlimited amount free services on the web.
You can blog, upload photos and videos, talk to your friends and watch last night's episode of your favorite show with just a few clicks.
Aside from the monthly fee you pay to your provider every month, its all absolutely free.
The websites you use for blogging or uploading videos could soon be blocked or majorly slowed down by the company giving you that Internet connection, even though you are paying them for access. If the website wants to allow everyone access they too will have to pay your Internet service provider to unblock their site and speed up the delivery of content.
Your bill for Internet might be $30, or maybe even $50 a month.
Pretty steep for a college student.
Imagine the amount they'll charge a company like Google for their YouTube site. It could be millions, and you're the one who is going suffer.
Even the most powerful and money-generating services on the web will have to start charging you to use their services in order to off-set their newly incurred costs.
So, if you want to use Google you might have to pay for each search. Or, perhaps you'll have to pay monthly to host your blog, or a few bucks to watch TV shows on Hulu.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Consider what it could cost you to start your own website for a small business or start-up idea.
Twelve years ago two Ph.D. students from Standford had the brilliant idea to build a search engine. If they had to pay big fees to Internet service providers to get a website back then, they probably wouldn't have been able to afford to do so.
That site was Google, and it was made possible by the open access of the Internet for everyone.
Allowing these companies to charge people for putting stuff on the Internet will thwart the innovation and creativity on the Internet.
People coming up with Internet content won't be able to give their services and information for free.
They'll be paying too much to big corporations, and they'll have to charge you to make up for it. The Internet has always been an open source of information, and restricting the flow of content will end that.
Internet service provider Comcast has started this process already. Last week a federal court of appeals ruled in their favor, giving them the ability to do control the flow of content to their subscribers.
If you have Comcast, that means you.
If you have Verizon or TimeWarner, or some other provider, I'm sure their greed will set in soon enough and you'll be next.
We didn’t come to have Google, YouTube, Wikipedia or any other major web forces through a suffocating system owing everyone a piece of the pie. That type of ingenuity is bred in open air where ideas flow, and its free for anyone to access.
If the Internet providers continue to be driven by their greed, that type of freedom and accessibility is coming to a rapid end. Be prepared to pay up.
It's important to remember that the Internet spun off of Public Access Television. Originally, politicians had to find a way to let Cable Television Companies, use Public Easements & Accesses for telephone poles, etc. and justify those costs and means without it being perceived as corruption. So in exchange for Cable Companies allowing the public to have access to their own community channels, the Government decided to signed off on the deal.
After some entrepreneurs started to become successful on Public Access Television, the Government & Corporate America decided it was time to divert Public attention away from Public Access TV and decided to open up the Internet, where Corporate America & The Government would have more control again over the masses, by the complications created, that allow for the possibility of a cover up. But for now, the Government was forced to charge Internet Companies for use of Public Accesses to prove their legal actions, seeing as how the internet was originally an Armed Forces / Public access or easement. That's where all this free stuff, you see on the Internet, came from.
The effort to create a cover up by the Government & Corporate America to do the things you mention above, grinds on & on. So don't let them fool you. That's what they are counting on, somewhere down the line, to do exactly what you say in your above statements. But they can't do it, without creating major legal complications for themselves, especially if the public is more aware of what is going on.
Some other thoughts are, if Google and others are successful at their goals, that might actually be a good thing for us. It would mean search engines financed and paid for by corporate America, that are totally devoted to the welfare of public interests. In other words, we would possibly end up with something very similar to a Public Access TV version of the internet.
Our Free, and totally paid for, search engines would work as well as theirs, but be limited to our region / communities, and Google and others would control the international aspects of it all. This would equal more freedom for us, on a limited community platform, in exchange for Google and others, doing commercial business on international public airways.
This is what Google is pushing for, so they can take advantage of their leadership in the market place, while the going is good. We benefit from that as well?
But beware! It might just be a way of making it impossible for us to do anything without financing, just like it was on Public Access TV, and we all know who controls getting loans like that, People like Google and their other friends and bankers!
Once again, just like public access TV, we end up with a bunch of worthless assets, that no one can make use of, while the government rights it off as a fair deal for the public and pocket the change into their own bank accounts! Back to square one ...my first post again! (See Above)
....all that said and when you think about the complications involved in such issues, I guess it all boils down to trusting our leaders, which isn't the easiest thing to do. After all, I'm not going to confront these kind of issues, on a day to day basis, as a means for making a living, like our delegates do. Think I'll stick with music and hope for the best!