If you have a small business web presence or a personal web site, or if you enjoy visiting web sites of organizations smaller than, say, Bank of America, you need to take an interest in the issue of internet neutrality. This is one of those rare cases of something that neatly cuts across the political spectrum, and other demographic groupings (although the Republican politicians are far more dedicated to ending the neutrality.)
Here’s the situation, for any who may still not know. The internet as we have always known it has been an “open” internet. Anyone could set up a web site, and if it was built well that web site would load just as fast and work as well as any other, even those of big businesses.
Telecommunication companies that provide the infrastructure for the internet don’t like this arrangement. Verizon, Comcast, ATT, etc., want a “multi-tiered” internet with fast, high quality service for wealthy entities, and a slow, clunky, low quality version for those of us without big bucks. The Obama administration has always sided with neutrality, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. The Republicans, on the other hand, would cheerfully kill the neutrality and go for an internet based on what you can pay. (Imagine them being like that.) The powerful Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska practically made it the main goal of his last years in office to sink net neutrality. For some reason the Republicans really, really do not like the idea of an open internet.
Recently, an Appeals Court in Washington DC ruled strongly against internet neutrality, in effect shooting down the entire concept and saying that Verizon and Comcast and the others can run the internet any way they damn well please, and at whatever prices they please. It was a historic, epochal sell-out of the American people, in an era that was going to be forever known for that anyway.
It may be all over, but the Federal Communications Commission is going to hold hearings, and that is where you come in. Go to their web site and leave a comment in support of an open internet! Do this! If you don’t then don’t complain about what you have for an internet in two years.
It is the proverbial “quick and easy” process. Go to http://www.fcc.gov/comments and click on “Proceeding #14-28 Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet.” Enter a name and an address and your comment for the public record. That’s it.
I said the following:
“I am appalled that this gratuitous plundering of the greatest technological resource in history is even being contemplated. With all the lip service that is paid to boosting the economy, aiding small business, fostering innovation, and advancing education through the wonder of the internet, we then turn around and allow this fenced-and-tiered scheme, which further enriches massively powerful interests at the expense of civilization as a whole. The killing of internet neutrality is plutocracy at its most poisonous. Future generations will no doubt have a special place in their history books for any and all who advance this most odious and costly swindle.”