Thursday, September 02, 2010

Net Neutrality and you

By Capt. Fogg

If you're reading this, you most likely have an interest in the future of the Internet and concern with the ownership thereof. Most of us assume it belongs to us, the way we once assumed the ' air waves' belonged to us -- just like the air itself. The electromagnetic spectrum now largely belongs to those who make a profit from it and the Internet may well follow suit. The phone and cable companies would certainly like to regulate what you may or may not get on line and how fast you get it as well as how much you'll have to pay.

What's at stake for them is the ability to sell you "premium" services over dedicated networks and to be able to "prioritize" or discriminate between traffic that takes up bandwidth and traffic they can make a buck on. Of course it's much more complex than this, but the outcome of FCC deliberations on Net Neutrality may very well have a huge effect on the flow of information and our assumption that everyone has a right to hear and be heard without interference; without corporate censorship.

Of course the ability of the FCC to do anything at all is in question following recent court decisions that seem to be part of the crusade against regulating anything and everything and without such an agency to provide a system of rules to protect a media that's fast replacing print and broadcast as our portal to the world, what you know, what you are able to know may well be determined by what makes the most money or most suits the interests of service providers. Indeed we've already traveled quite a distance down that path.

The FCC is now open to public comment. You can be sure that Verizon and Google, inter alia, are speaking very loudly and carrying a very big stick so if there's going to be any slim chance for the public to weigh in on Net Neutrality, your chance to be heard is now.

(Cross posted from Human Voices)

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home