October 19, 2006

Net neutrality

Must viewing for those interested in keeping the Internet as it is -- just better (meaning, faster) -- is Bill Moyers On America's "The Net @ Risk." I caught this last evening and, frankly, was incensed at the implications of what will happen to the Internet if the Big Telecoms get their way. One thing that pissed me off further was that we -- right now this second -- could be surfing the 'net at up to 100 times faster than we currently do if Big Telecom had kept their word and invested in developing a fiber-optic network in the 1990s. (Get this: a cable or DSL connection here in the US costs approx. $40/month, right? Japan and South Korea already have a fiber-optic Internet network for consumers, and they pay ... about $40/month! Their Internet connection speeds are just, oh, about 40 times faster than American broadband, that's all!!)

We've put up an image for "It's Our Net" at top right which if you click on it will take you to many more resources dealing with "net neutrality." Net neutrality is one of the great bipartisan efforts of the current era. People on the right and left recognize that the 'net is the greatest thing for democracy since, well, probably democracy. Giving certain already-powerful entities a huge chunk (or even more) control of that greatly diminishes that democracy.

Bottom line: Make yourself heard on net neutrality. Fight FOR it.

More: Google has more on the importance of net neutrality. Jason of DE Liberal was way ahead of the curve on this (way to go, Jase!). Read this post of his from back in July.

Posted by Hube at October 19, 2006 04:50 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

This is what happens when you give corporations the keys to the kingdom. Japan and South Korea -- like many countries in Europe -- keep many of their telecom industries nicely REGULATED so they can't rip-off the public. I know regulation sounds like Communism to conservatives, but it actually makes quite a bit of sense.

Posted by: Mike M. at October 19, 2006 05:06 PM

I should add -- for fairness -- that most of this BS is a result of Pres. Clinton's Telecommunications Act of 1996 that HE supported and signed.

Posted by: Mike M. at October 19, 2006 05:07 PM

If you're going to allow monopolies (or duopolies or anything akin to 'em) there must be regulation.

If there were true competition, that's a different story. If you watch the Moyers piece, see what happened when Lafayette, LA tried to set up their own fiber-optic network. Bell South and Cox Comm. sued them claiming -- ready? -- "unfair competition"!! A great quote was uttered by an older gentleman in Lafayette -- "The only thing powerful enough to take on big corporations is government." Hopefully, the government of Lafayette will be big enough.

Oh, and guess who the bigwig lobbyist is for the Big Telecoms who are against net neutrality? Former Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry.

Posted by: Hube at October 19, 2006 05:34 PM

Telecommunications Act of 1996 is what gave us digital cell phones and more wireless providers. It also gave us competition for line service. Here in New Castle County you have a choice of Verizon or Cavalier Telephone (and now Comcast phone over cable). Most of the other start-up competitors went bankrupt, but not before verizon spent millions expanding their hub buildings to make room for the competition's equipement.

Posted by: steamboat willy at October 20, 2006 12:47 AM