Blog: Collective Disease Incorporated
by Lapis

Net Freedom Looms

Control of the internet is being leveraged by crooked politicians and their fascist corporate counterparts. Will you allow your internet freedom to be stolen away?

Date:   6/11/2006 5:53:13 AM   ( 16 y ) ... viewed 2185 times

The Struggle for Net Freedom

A new fight is brewing over the future of communications in the United States. It pits the nation's largest cable and telephone companies against those who believe the Internet should support the free and independent flow of ideas.

Broadband is the battleground. As more Americans upgrade to high-speed Internet connections, the companies that control the "pipes" are plotting out new ways to profit from the demand. The telco and cable giants want to fence off the Internet: one area for the haves — who will pay a premium to enjoy life in the fast lane — and the other for the have-nots.

The innovation and creativity of the Internet are the result of its foundation as an open roadway. At serious risk is the idea of "network neutrality" — a guiding principle of the Internet that ensures all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. Corporate greed threatens to bring the Internet’s promise of advanced communications for all to a halt.

Learn more:

How Real Is the Threat?

What is Net Neutrality?

A World Without Net Neutrality

Public Support for Net Freedom

The Debate over the Internet's Future


Reversing the Revolution

The end of net neutrality would shift the online revolution into reverse. If the nation's largest telephone and cable companies are allowed to limit the fastest services to those who can pay their toll, the rest of us — upstart Web services, consumers, bloggers and new media makers alike — will become blocked from digital-age innovations.

The companies that control the pipes want to discriminate in favor of their own applications, while shutting out or slowing down competing services. These companies have a business incentive to create their own affiliates to compete with the most popular applications — like search engines, voice-over-the-Internet, and streaming video archives.

They now seek to pad their pockets further by becoming gatekeepers to all things digital — deciding what content, applications and services we can use. The telco and cable giants — which dominate 98 percent of the broadband market — not only expect consumers to pay to access the Internet, but they want to charge content producers for using their wires to deliver it.

To get a sense of the bargain the industry is proposing, imagine if the maker of your toaster had to give a cut of the sales price to the electric company before it could be turned on. Or suppose the post office charged you to mail and receive the same package if you wanted it sent first class.

Soon all media — TV, telephone, radio and the Web — will be delivered via a broadband connection. But the future of the Internet will decided offline in the corridors of Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. As our representatives rewrite the Telecommunications Act, Free Press is fighting to preserve the digital commons that Americans rely upon to participate in our democracy.

Find out more:

Net Neutrality Policy

Glossary of Terms: Untangling Broadband Jargon

Join the Fight for Net Freedom


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