MY LIL YAWP ON NET NEUTRALITY

11 05 2010

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I wrote to my CongressCritters recently on this subject:

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HERE’S THE ASTROTURF PART OF MY YAWP, PROVIDED BY “FREEPRESS.NET”:

“Net Neutrality is the cornerstone of innovation, free speech and democracy on the Internet.

More than 1.9 million Americans have expressed support for Net Neutrality at Congress and the FCC. They want control over the Internet to remain in the hands of the people who use it every day.

Please stand with the public by protecting Net Neutrality once and for all.

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HERE’S MY OWN BIT OF THE YAWP:

I recently was reminded that several years ago the FCC decided NOT to regulate ISPs  as ‘common carriers’. I was amazed to discover this! If you happen to be as old as me, therefore perhaps not blinded by the anything-business-wants! mood of the last 30 years, you may feel the same way. ‘Common carriers’* is obviously just what they are.

If we ever let ISPs be anything else, they’ll eventually work that modest regulatory specialness around to having as much power as the TV broadcasters of the last generation. Remember all those years of mindless TV that was ‘given’ to you on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis? Did you really enjoy being a passive couch potato? Do you really want the Internet, with all its promise of universal FREE (in both senses) communication to descend to that?

If ISPs become able to pick and choose the content they deliver, and control the speed and convenience with which it’s presented to you, rather than just accepting it for a standard payment proportional to the size of what’s delivered, you’ll be back on the couch forever.”

Respectfully,
[Nightman1]”

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AND HERE’S THE ORGANIZATION LOBBYING FOR NET NEUTRALITY :

http://bit.ly/4sJgrp

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WHO CARES!

Seriously folks, especially my fellow baby boomers, have you forgotten all those years of sitting down on your sofa for a bit of TV, finding only the usual boring drivel, and sighing and sitting there and watching the junk anyway, ’cause there was “nothing else on”? A person could spend a whole evening vegetating like that back then — and end up more than slightly sad because so little had been accomplished, or even enjoyed. When it came to home entertainment, we had NO CHOICE.

Having way more fun with the Internet now? Of course you are. The interactivity, and above all the control of what you experience, the Internet provides is wonderful.

But the amount of money to be made on the Internet by ISPs that succeed in controlling its content would also be wonderful! And those ISPs have lots of lobbyists, and money to buy CongressCritters with.

CongressCritters love money, but they also somewhat fear US. Every marvelous new technology comes to a turning point where the corporations involved in it are on the verge of getting complete control of it (e.g., see the history of radio in the 1920s). For the Internet, that turning point is most likely this decade.

So get up from playing with the marvelous Internet for a bit and throw some fear into your CongressCritters on the subject of net neutrality!

Unless you just WANT to go back to being a couch potato again, this time in front of your computer instead of your TV.

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* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_carrier

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