Monday, July 9, 2007

Time is running out for Net Neutrality

Just 6 days remain in the Federal Communications Commission’s public inquiry into whether it should protect Net Neutrality and the outlook isn’t good. A few weeks ago, the Federal Trade Commission issued a report recommending against legislation to protect net neutrality. The IDC, one of the few big voices actually in favour of net neutrality, is predicting that “regulation around net neutrality will be decided in favor of facilities-based broadband providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.”

Why should you care? According to SaveTheInternet.com:

The consequences of a world without Net Neutrality would be devastating. Innovation would be stifled, competition limited, and access to information restricted. Consumer choice and the free market would be sacrificed to the interests of a few corporate executives.

On the Internet, consumers are in ultimate control — deciding between content, applications and services available anywhere, no matter who owns the network. There's no middleman. But without Net Neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV. Network owners will decide which channels, content and applications are available; consumers will have to choose from their menu.

The free and open Internet brings with it the revolutionary possibility that any Internet site could have the reach of a TV or radio station. The loss of Net Neutrality would end this unparalleled opportunity for freedom of expression.

The Internet has always been driven by innovation. Web sites and services succeeded or failed on their own merit. Without Net Neutrality, decisions now made collectively by millions of users will be made in corporate boardrooms. The choice we face now is whether we can choose the content and services we want, or whether the broadband barons will choose for us.

Why should Canadians care? Michael Geist wrote an excellent article in the Toronto Star about Canadian culture and the issue of net neutrality:

Ensuring access is also an important part of the equation, as regulators should preserve the right of Canadians to access the content of their choice on the Internet through net neutrality legislation.

So, if you care, act now while there is still time:

1. Watch the video for a primer on the issue.

2. Learn more. The Digital Nomad has an informative post with links to more information.

3. Sign the petitions at Save the Internet or Neutrality.ca today.

4. Spread the word through your own blog with a post on the topic and with one of these U.S. badges or Canadian badges.

4 comments:

Digital Nomad said...

It amazes me how little support there has been for this. I am beginning to think the masses get exactly what they deserve.

I even managed to get a post about it on The Thinking Blog (Technorati Top 100).

Thanks for your efforts, Sharon. Time to move on I guess.

Sharon E. Herbert said...

Thanks for all of your efforts, Michal. I just read your post over at the Thinking Blog and there was some good discussion there: http://www.thethinkingblog.com/2007/06/free-internet-is-under-threat.html

There does seem to be a great deal of apathy on this issue and an overwhelming lack of attention from the mainstream media... but that's understandable given their vested interests. I'm going to keep monitoring this, but I agree, we've probably done what we can for now....

Comte de Straf-Bastille said...

Net neutrality is one of the things they're trying to snuff out in Britain as well through various bits of legislation. It's a worry.

Bob Johnson said...

I just started a blog a week ago so I just learned about net neutrality. Figures just as I take the plunge they drain the pool, lol
Im going over to net neutrality now