Friday, October 23, 2009

Net Neutrality fight is going to get ugly and we, the people, will likely lose.

It may be early still in the fight to maintain an open and unfettered Internet, but it definitely is not lacking in drama or shenanigans. 

According to the Wall Street Journal:
"AT&T and other Internet-access providers want latitude to manage traffic on congested wireless networks and freedom to devote a chunk of their wired networks to selling more expensive services. Internet providers are worried regulators are assuming veto power over their efforts to develop new revenue streams from their Internet lines."

We should all know what that means.  Comcast and Time Warner and their ilk want to be able to slow down your download speeds from Youtube or Netflix or Hulu or whatever, and speed up your connection to whatever craptastic media service they might introduce in the future.  Companies that thrive on delivering content know the ramifications of the telecoms and cable companies getting their way.

President Obama ramped up the debate with his Net Neutrality speech some weeks back:

And therein lies the crux of the argument, it is time to treat the Internet like the public utility that it is.  The US government does not allow electric companies to carve out a portion of their grid for "premium" electricity services or for the phone companies to block calls made from competitors lines.  The business they are in is one of providing a gateway to services. 

I have written my congressmen on this subject, but I already know that Bunning is too senile to understand the concept of the Internet, much less Net Neutrality and Mitch McConnell is already in too deep with the telecoms to be of any use.  I am relying on Ben Chandler to carry the water for consumers on this issue.  Don't trust the usual suspects of those you think might support a pro-consumer cause like open competition.  They might just disappoint you.

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